Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates are scouting Mexican catcher Fernando Diaz, who turns 16 in a couple days. Diaz will be eligible to sign on July 2. He’s considered the top, or one of the top, Mexican prospects eligible for the next signing period.
Ordinarily, I’d say, “Yeah, sure.” The Pirates have a long history of attending workouts for top international prospects and then not pursuing them. In Mexico, things are a little different and, well, shadier, due to the fact that Mexican players have to sign with a Mexican team first. The team then negotiates with the US team, with the Mexican team getting the bulk of the bonus. Rene Gayo was able to screen other teams out of any competition for Luis Heredia due to his connections with Heredia’s Mexican team.
John Dreker reports that Diaz has signed with Mazatlan, with which the Pirates have a working agreement. The Pirates also have been increasing their presence in Mexico over the last year or so. Consequently, there might be something to this. A real catching prospect would be nice, no matter how far away from the majors he is.