The International free agent signing period began Saturday and the Cubs signed 16-year old shortstop Enrique Acosta from the Dominican Republic. According to Baseball America, the 6-for-1, 180-pound right-handed hitter is considered to have one of the top bats this year in Latin America. Many scouts feel Acosta will eventually be moved to a corner outfield spot but there is an outside chance that he could end up at third base.
The Cubs inked Acosta to a $1.1 million signing bonus. Baseball America ranked the top 40 players in Latin America based on expected signing bonuses, not based on talent. Enrique Acosta came in at number nine in their ranking.
According to Baseball America (subscription only), the 16-year old shortstop “has a short load and gets his hands started easily with a clean, efficient swing and good bat speed.” Enrique Acosta has a good hitting approach for his age, uses the entire field, gets good extension and the ball jumps off his bat.
Baseball America thinks Acosta could end up with more power “once he learns to incorporate his lower half into his swing.” Acosta has a “tendency to open his hips early” which makes him “susceptible to breaking balls.”