July 2nd is one of the best days in baseball not just for fans but for players abroad. It is a day that changes lives in foreign countries and this year the Yankees were very aggressive. They signed three large bonus players on July 2nd.
Luis Torrens got the largest bonus at $1.3 million and he was announced as a catcher. This is important because he had been a third baseman for some people and in this scouting report MLB put out. You can see Torrens take ground balls and a few swings with this video. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20762681 Torrens was trained by former Yankee scout and was the scouting director for them in Venezuela. Rios had signed a lot of the top Yankee talent before he had been fired by the team for allegedly skimming bonuses from players he signed. It was never proven that he did that and in a Dominican court the Yankees were ordered to pay the remaining part of his contract.
Alexander Palma got the second highest bonus at $800,000. He is a Venezuela outfielder who throws and bats right handed. He has been known to scouts for some time as he played on the 16 and under World Championships last year. In those 35 at bats he hit .429/.462/.514 which is very good and impressive. You Tube has a 55 second video on him. Looking at it I thought he looked more 18 then 16 but looked impressive at the plate.
Yancarlos Baez rounded out the top picks made by the Yankees. He is a shortstop out of Dominican Republic who got $650,000. I would recommend going to dlpbaseball.com because of a Baez article on there plus a video of his fielding and a batting practice session. I found a You Tube video of him doing a 60 yard dash and timed him a few times. He averaged 6.7 seconds on the 60 yard dash with is above average. Watching him on defense he looks good but I don’t really like his foot work right now. He appears to have happy feet out there but really he is 16 so I’m not too concerned.
With the new CBA limiting this teams this year to only $2.95 million without paying a tax penalty teams were aggressive very quickly. The Yankees so far have spent $2.75 million so they have $200,000 left that they can pay for a single player or multiple players. Now keep in mind they can also sign 6 guys to $50,000 in bonuses without those going against their $2.95 million cap.
While the big names have been paid sometimes it’s the smaller signings that really make the system. Ravel Santana a top ten prospect was a $150,000 signing while Kelvin DeLeon was a million dollar bust. So be excited but remember these kids are more lottery tickets then the draft even is.