According to Pirates Prospects, the Pirates have signed (sub. req’d) Dominican outfielder Jean Eusebio. Baseball America’s Ben Badler, going back almost a year, had identified Eusebio as the Pirates’ top international target for the 2016-17 signing period. Eusebio wasn’t eligible to sign until he turned 16 last August, but for unknown reasons the signing took until now to get done. Badler didn’t have much scouting information on Eusebio, who wasn’t considered one of the top 50 or so international prospects. He’s 6’1”, 170 pounds, so he probably at least has the potential to gain some strength as he gets out of his teens.
P2 additionally reports that Eusebio got $550,000, which is the most the Pirates have spent on an international signee since the unrelated Julio and Michael De La Cruz each got $700,000 in 2012. The Pirates’ 2016 international signing pool of $2,044,800 was the second-lowest in baseball; Eusebio got over a quarter of it. The Pirates’ second most prominent signee, Dominican outfielder Pedro Castillo, got $170,000. For the upcoming signing period, the Pirates will have the much more generous sum of $5,750,000 available to spend.
The Pirates also signed Osvaldo Bido, a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican. At 21, he wouldn’t likely be considered a top prospect, but Rene Gayo likes to search for older players (by Latin American prospect standards), usually pitchers who’ve added velocity. Edgar Santana is one example.