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Pirates ink deals with two international prospects

The best part? They may not be done yet.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a splash on the first day of the international signing period, inking deals with two Top 20 prospects.

According to MLB Pipeline, the Pirates reached deals with 6-foot-5 outfielder Tony Blanco Jr., and 6-foot-1 shortstop Yordany De Los Santos, both of whom were rumored to be high on the Pirates’ international radar over the past few weeks.

Both players were signed at a reasonable cost, with Blanco signing for $900,000 and De Los Santos netting a $1.2 million contract. This accounts for one-third of an international bonus pool that started off with more than $6.2 million.’s Jesse Sanchez has high praise for both prospects, citing plenty of offensive potential.

For Blanco, Sanchez said he exhibits “good bat speed and tons of raw power with 40-plus home run potential.” Defensively, he said Blanco shows solid-to-average arm strength and will most likely start his professional career in right field, with left field, first base and designated hitter as secondary positions.

For De Los Santos, he said his consistent contact will allow him to be a middle of the lineup hitter once he makes it to the major leagues. Defensively, he’s one of the harder throwers in this pool of international signings, as Sanchez says he has “plus-arm potential” and that he “moves well around the diamond and displays solid actions.”

One thing for him, however, is that his large frame could allow him to move third base down the line – no pun intended – but Sanchez expects him to remain at shortstop “as long as he can.”

The Pirates are also rumored to continue hitting the international market by signing right-handed pitcher Hung-Leng Chang out of Chinese Taipei for $500,000, however no sources have confirmed it yet.


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