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Breaking Barriers: Baseball Goes Global

Updated: Feb 1


Three top 100 international prospects, De Vries (Padres), Perdomo (Braves), and Cruz (Cubs), have already secured $4 million+ contracts in the early signing flurry.




A Young All-MLB, Rookie of the Year, AL Silver Slugger, Julio Rodriguez. Ranked #10 International Prospect in 2017, seen above catching a pop fly for the Dominican Prospect League in hopes of signing a Major League deal.



As the calendar turned to January 15th, 2024, excitement rippled through the baseball world as the MLB's International Signing Portal swung open its doors. This annual event marks the beginning of a global talent hunt, offering promising young players from outside the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico a chance to pursue their dreams on the grand stage of Major League Baseball.


While the annual MLB Draft focuses on players from North America, the international signing pool represents a vital pathway for diversifying the baseball landscape and attracting a worldwide audience. At 16 years old, these young, raw talents captivate scouts with their potential, leaving teams with the tantalizing prospect of molding them into future superstars.

The sheer volume of newcomers, however, creates an inherent uncertainty. Not every high-ranking prospect will blossom into a household name. Remember Ronald Acuña Jr., arguably baseball's brightest star in 2023? He was merely ranked 35th back in 2017! Rankings, then, serve as educated guesses and only time will tell how these young faces adapt to their new lives and the immense expectations on their shoulders.


The historical impact of this signing period is undeniable. From Shohei Ohtani's electrifying presence to the absolute brilliance of Ronald Acuña Jr. As well as Sandy Alcantara, Juan Soto, Ozzie Albies, and countless others who continue to spark the league- This short window has gifted baseball with some of its most mesmerizing talents. With such a vast wealth of untapped potential available, securing the best prospects early becomes a game of financial chess for MLB clubs.


Based on market trends and team revenue, each organization receives a designated bonus pool to spend on international signings. Unlike the structured order of the conventional draft, the beauty of this system lies in its relative egalitarianism. Regardless of their previous season's performance, all teams have the possibility of unearthing diamonds in the rough.

This financial incentive encourages aggressive spending, as forfeited bonus money gets redistributed among other clubs. Consequently, the portal remains a bustling marketplace until December 15th, with teams scouring the globe for the next big thing.


Naturally, these young athletes deserve to be nurtured with patience. While their talent shines bright, the road to sustained excellence demands careful development. Teams must strike a delicate balance between maximizing their potential and allowing them to blossom organically. As the singing period continues, one thing remains certain: the MLB's International Signing Portal isn't just about acquiring raw talent; it's about cultivating dreams and fostering baseball's future on a global scale.  The ones who come knocking on the door first? They're the ones whispering promises of greatness. So keep your eyes peeled for these players bursting onto the scene - they might just rewrite history.



Here's a breakdown of the bonus pool distribution according to MLB.com:


  • Tier 1: $7,114,800 - Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals

  • Tier 2: $6,520,000 - Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins

  • Tier 3: $5,284,000 - Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox

  • Tier 4: $5,152,000 - Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs

  • Tier 5: $4,652,000 - San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees



So far, the early bird has gotten the worm, with three out of the top 100 international prospects already securing contracts exceeding $4 million:

  • #1: Leodalis De Vries, Dominican Republic (Padres)

  • #3: Jose Perdomo, Venezuela (Braves)

  • #4: Fernando Cruz, Puerto Rico (Cubs)



Notable Acquisitions per Team


Arizona Diamondbacks

 
  • Modesto Vargas, RHP, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 195 Age: 19

  • Adriel Radney, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 180 Age: 16

  • Alfredo Benzan, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: S/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 165 Age: 16

  • Belfi Rivera, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: L/L Height: 6'0 Weight: 165 Age: 17




Atalanta Braves 

 
  • Jose Perdomo, SS, Venezuela

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 180 Age: 17




Baltimore Orioles 

 
  • Yaki Mondesir, RHP, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 205 Age: 17

  • Emilio Sánchez, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: L/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 160 Age: 16

  • Elvin Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: S/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 165 Age: 17




Boston Red Sox 

 

  • Vladimir Asencio, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: L/L Height: 6'0 Weight: 165 Age: 17

  • Carlos Carrasquel, 3B, Venezuela

Hand: R/R Height: 6'4 Weight: 195 Age: 17



Chicago Cubs 

 

  • Fernando Cruz, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 155 Age: 17




Chicago White Sox

 

  • Eduardo Herrera, 3B, Venezuela

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 160 Age: 17




Cincinnati Reds

 

  • Adolfo Sanchez, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 175 Age: 17

  • Naibel Mariano, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 182 Age: 17




Cleveland Guardians  

 

  • Robert Arias, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: L/L Height: 6'1 Weight: 168 Age: 17




Colorado Rockies

 

  • Ashly Andujar, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: S/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 160 Age: 16

  • Oscar Pujols, RHP, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 155 Age: 17


 


Detroit Tigers

 

  • Nestor Miranda, 3B, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 225 Age: 17

  • Jesus Pinto, OF, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 180 Age: 17




Houston Astros 

 
  • Cesar Yanquiel Hernandez, OF, Cuba

Hand: L/L Height: 6'0 Weight: 197 Age: 20




Kansas City Royals 

 

  • Yandel Ricardo, SS, Cuba

Hand: S/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 185 Age: 17

  • Jhonayker Ugarte, SS, Venezuela

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 180 Age: 17

  • Darison Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: S/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 165 Age: 16




Los Angeles Angels

 
  • Joswa Lugo, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 187 Age: 16

  • Hayden Alvarez, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 190 Age: 16




Los Angeles Dodgers

 
  • Emil Morales, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 180 Age: 17

  • Rafy Peguero, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'0 Weight: 190 Age: 17




Miami Marlins 

 
  • Luis Cova, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 160 Age: 17

  • Jose Castro, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 180 Age: 16

  • Jose Paulino, RHP, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 175 Age: 17




Milwaukee Brewers

 
  • Jorge Quintana, SS, Venezuela 

Hand: S/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 183 Age: 17

  • Jesus Made, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: S/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 187 Age: 16

  • Luis Peña, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 185 Age: 17



Minnesota Twins 

 
  • Daiber de los Santos, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 160 Age: 17

  • Eduardo Beltre, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 175 Age: 17




New York Mets

 
  • Yovanny Rodriguez, C, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'0 Weight: 175 Age: 17

  • Edward Lantigua, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 174 Age: 17




New York Yankees

 
  • Francisco Vilorio, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'4 Weight: 212 Age: 17

  • Richard Matic, 3B, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'0 Weight: 200 Age: 16

  • Dexter Peralta, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: S/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 170 Age: 16




Oakland Athletics

 

  • Edgar Montero, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 190 Age: 17

  • Jose Ramos, OF, Venezuela 

Hand: L/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 160 Age: 17




Philadelphia Phillies 

 

  • Jalvin Arias, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 230 Age: 17

  • Cesar Mujica, C, Venezuela

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 199 Age: 16

  • Julio Polanco Jr., RHP, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 222 Age:

  • Anderson Navas, C, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 176 Age: 16




Pittsburg Pirates

 

  • Bralyn Brazoban, OF, Dominican Republic

Hand: L/L Height: 6'1 Weight: 180 Age: 17

  • Adbiel Feliz, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: S/R Height: 6'0 Weight: 175 Age: 16




San Diego Padres

 

Leodalis De Vries, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: S/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 183 Age: 17

Humberto Cruz, RHP, Mexico 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 190 Age: 17




St. Louis Cardinals

 

Branneli Franco, RHP, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 187 Age: 16

Yairo Padilla, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: Height: Weight: Age:




San Fransisco Giants

 
  • Yohendry Sanchez, C, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'0 Weight: 207 Age: 17

  • Jhonny Level, SS, Venezuela 

Hand: S/R Height: 5'10 Weight: 154 Age: 16




Seattle Mariners

 
  • Dawel Joseph, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 185 Age: 16

  • Leandro Romero, SS, Dominican Republic

Hand: R/R Height: 6'1 Weight: 170 Age: 17




Tampa Bay Rays

 
  • Leonardo Pineda, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 185 Age: 16

  • Angel Brachi, SS, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'10 Weight: 165 Age: 16




Texas Rangers

 
  • Paulino Santana, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'2 Weight: 180 Age: 17

  • Curley Martha, SS, Curacao 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 165 Age: 17




Toronto Blue Jays

 
  • Franklin Rojas, C, Venezuela 

Hand: R/R Height: 5'10 Weight: 176 Age: 16

  • Junior Arias, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'4 Weight: 180 Age: 17

  • Pascual Archila, OF, Venezuela 

Hand: L/L Height: 5/10 Weight: 172 Age: 17

  • Angel Guzman, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: S/R Height: 5'11 Weight: 160 Age: 17




Washington Nationals

 

  • Victor Hurtado, OF, Dominican Republic 

Hand: L/L Height: 6'3 Weight: 175 Age: 16

  • Angel Feliz, SS, Dominican Republic 

Hand: R/R Height: 6'3 Weight: 185 Age: 17



Forget the draft day drama – the International Signing Portal is where the real action is! This is where baseball sheds its nationalistic skin and embraces the global tapestry of talent. Every day, new names emerge from baseball hotbeds like the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba, each carrying the hopes and dreams of their communities. The anticipation is palpable, a constant hum in the baseball world as fans, scouts, and analysts wait to see who will be the next breakout star. So, grab your popcorn and settle in, because the international signing period is a show you won't want to miss!




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