The Cubs are expected to be big spenders on International free agents when the new signing period begins on July 2. Kiley McDaniel linked the Cubs to several of the top players in this year’s class last month.
Based on the figures McDaniel reported, the Cubs are going to spend quite a bit more than their International signing bonus pool.
MLB.com released its ranking of the Top 30 International prospects and the report connected the Cubs to four of the players that McDaniel said the team already has deals in place with in advance of July 2.
MLB.com’s prospect ranking provided more information on SS Aramis Ademan, 3B Christopher Martinez, SS Yonathan Perlaza and C Miguel Amaya and added a 16-year old outfielder to the list of players, Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, that received a rather interesting comp.
#9 – Yonathan Perlaza, SS
• Scouting Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50
• Age: 16 (Nov. 10, 1998) – 5-foot-8, 175 pounds – Bats: S Throws R
MLB.com said to “picture Martin Prado as a teenager, that’s how some scouts view Perlaza.”
Considered one of the better hitters of this year’s class, while there is a chance he could stay at shortstop, there is “a belief he will end up at second base.” Perlaza has “been praised for his swing and strong wrists, leading some scouts to believe that he could hit some home runs and drive the ball into the gaps” as he matures. Fundamentally sound “in all areas of his game” but his “bat, now and in the future, that makes him an appealing prospect.”
Kiley McDaniel reported at the end of April that the Cubs have an agreement in place with Perlaza for $1.2 million.
#13 – Yonathan Sierra Estiwal, OF
• Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 40 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45
• Age: 16 (Oct. 17, 1998) – 6-foot-3, 205 pounds – Bats: L Throws L
MLB.com reported that “one famous player comes to mind when scouts talk about Estiwal: Darryl Strawberry.”
Estiwal is a “tall and lanky left-handed hitter and thrower with some raw power.” Estiwal is projected as a right fielder and that is where the comp to Strawberry comes in. Estiwal has a “graceful swing, and scouts like his ability to barrel up balls.” Can hit to all fields, shown power in games and the ability to hit for power to opposite field,” described as a “good baseball player who knows the game.”
Estiwal was not included in Kiley McDaniel’s report. It is unknown at this time what he could sign for in July.
#16 – Aramis Ademan, SS
• Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 35 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60
• Age: 16 (Sept. 13, 1998) – 5-foot-10, 150 pounds – Bats: L Throws R
Ademan has “the best hands out there right now, no question” according to MLB.com. Ademan has “opened eyes with his athletic ability and skills on defense.” And scouts expect him to grow into his frame.
Ademan has shown the ability to hit in games among intense competition. Considered a glove-first player right now that “has to get stronger and become more physical as he matures.”
Kiley McDaniel reported the agreement in place with the Cubs is for $2 million.
#23 – Miguel Amaya, C
• Scouting Grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 40 | Run: 20 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60
• Age: 16 (March 9, 1999) – 6-foot, 160 pounds – Bats: L Throws R
Scouts have seen that Amaya can hit but he has really impressed them with his defense. Amaya “looks the part” of a catcher, calls a good game and “takes control behind the plate.” Amaya has the potential to have a “plus-arm and could be a plus defender.” The opinions vary slightly on his defense, but according to MLB.com, “it’s impossible to ignore the total package and overall potential he presents.”
Kiley McDaniel reported the Cubs have an agreement in place with Amaya for $1.2 million.
#26 – Christopher Martinez, 3B
• Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50
• Age: 15 (June 28, 1999) – 5-foot-11, 180 pounds – Bats: R Throws R
Martinez is “considered one of the top infielders in this year’s class.” Martinez has an average arm that should improve as he matures. Martinez has “good defensive instincts and quick hands.” And there is potential for more offense. Martinez has shown the ability to spray the ball to all fields, with patience and plate discipline in games.
The Cubs have a deal with Martinez for $1.5 million according to Kiley McDaniel.
Kiley McDaniel indicated in April the Cubs also have deals in place with RHP Anderson Amarista ($1 million), RHP Yunior Perez ($650,000) and SS Luis Diaz ($350,000). Until the contract is signed, a deal can fall through. McDaniel cautioned that signing bonuses can change as well. McDaniel was told the contracts for Yunior Perez and Luis Diaz are considered “nice values while the others are somewhere near close to market value.”
Between the draft and J2 signing period, the Cubs will be adding a lot of talent to the system in the next two months.