The Cincinnati Reds have made another big splash on the international market in 2023. Today they signed Sheng-En Lin out of Taiwan for a bonus of $1,200,000. There will be a press conference and announcement on Tuesday in Taiwan.
A position player and pitcher during his time in high school, the Reds are signing the 17-year-old as a shortstop/center fielder, though he’s been up to 99 MPH on the mound. He’s very athletic, as you would imagine. He’s got plus-plus speed on the bases and in the field. At the plate he’s got an advanced hit tool from the left side and he’s already showing power with more in the tank down the line. Obviously with the arm strength he showed on the mound, he stands out with his arm in the field as well. During this past year’s Under-18 Baseball World Cup, Sheng-En Lin played for Taiwan and hit .375 in four games.
This signing, coupled with the signings back in January and February bring the Reds international signing group for 2023 to a near close. Cincinnati’s bonus pool for the 2023 signing period was $6,366,900. If my math is correct, this signing leaves the team with less than $100,000 remaining (and it could be even less than that).
The signing is the second largest this signing period by the club. Alfredo Duno, a catcher from Venezuela, was rated as high as the #3 overall prospect in the international group this signing period. With the new rules in place with hard-capped bonus pools, Cincinnati has been doing a good job of lining up both deep classes and signing higher-end talent than they had in the decade prior. They would occasionally sign an internationally teenager to a mid-to-high tier bonus, but ever since the capped system has been in place they’ve made multiple 7-figure signings in their signing groups.