The Baseball America Prospect Handbook came out over the weekend (well, at least that’s when I got my copy). Today, Ben Badler looked at the international prospects in the book (there are 30 players listed for each team, so we are looking at 900 players in total) and who their original team was that signed them. In total, there were 263 internationally signed players among those 900, or 29.2%.
The Cincinnati Reds are responsible for signing five of those 263 players. Yorman Rodriguez, Aristides Aquino, Ronald Torreyes, Calten Daal and Jake Turnbull represent those five players. Only two teams, the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers were responsible for fewer signings with four (White Sox) and three (Brewers). The Texas Rangers led the way with 18 signings and the Twins were second with 15.
Not only are the Reds near the bottom of the list when it comes to the sheer volume of players signed that are among a given teams Top 30, but of that small number of players, only one of them is even within a teams Top 20 (Yorman Rodriguez). The other four players are all ranked in the 20’s of their teams top prospects.
Of course, this does ignore the part where the Reds signed both Aroldis Chapman and Raisel Iglesias since signing Yorman Rodriguez, but even if we were to include those guys (and I’m sure other teams could also boost their numbers with graduated players), the Reds would still remain at the bottom of the barrel of this list.
Let’s take a look at how the Reds stack up compared to the rest of the team in graphic form:
The organization finds itself in a good situation, potentially, for how this chart could turn out next season. In 2015 the team made two bigger international signings by inking outfielder Cristian Olivo and shortstop Miguel Hernandez to large signing bonuses, and they will also have the second largest bonus pool amount to spend in the 2016 signing period (begins July 2nd) that could add even more high dollar signings.
The hiccup to that plan could be the signing of Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez before the next signing period begins. Rumors of the Reds agreeing to sign him several weeks ago have proven to have been premature as he’s still an unsigned free agent. Perhaps it is nothing more than the Reds and Rodriguez agreeing to wait until the next signing period so the team can save several million dollars in penalties by delaying the signing as they have already reached their current bonus pool limit.