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.
Can confirm @JesseSanchezMLB's reporting that OF Tony Blanco Jr. will get a $900,000 bonus, SS Yordany De Los Santos $1.2 million. Accounts for a little more than a third of the Pirates' pool.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 15, 2022
MLB.com’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.
That’s one biiiig kid!! Originally thought to be a lock for the Rays, the Pirates have now taken over as the favorites to sign the lanky outfielder. Good stuff!! pic.twitter.com/QCXJYxqWKX— Cody Potanko (The Murphanko Experience) (@Murphanko) January 8, 2022
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.”
Yordany De Los Santos posted this on IG with “Voy Por Ti 2022” which from what I can gather is loosely translated to “I’m coming for you 2022. Along with the video he had a countdown going that is at 6 days. Sooo I guess just wait for 6 days and see lol. pic.twitter.com/Cvx64vB2nn— Cody Potanko (The Murphanko Experience) (@Murphanko) January 8, 2022
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.
How would you grade the Blanco and De Los Santos signings?
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