As expected, the Pittsburgh Pirates were busy on the first day of the international signing period, netting deals with 22 prospects.
Among the signings was RHP Jun-Seok Shim, the No. 10 international prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Shim was rumored to be heavily targeted by Pittsburgh a little over 10 days ago and is expected to sign a contract later this month, according to MLB.com’s Justice delos Santos.
Shim was the top Korean prospect in the pool and comes in with a great repertoire, even drawing the comparison to a young Chan Ho Park. At just 18 years old, he sits in the 94-96 mile per hour range on his fastball. He also showcases a 12-6 curveball, slider and changeup, all of which show Shim’s ability to locate pitches.
Joining Shim is outfielder Raymond Mola of the Dominican Republic, who was ranked No. 26 on MLB Pipeline.
The 17-year-old is touted as a power-heavy hitter who matured quickly during the time he was scouted. According to delos Santos, Director of International Scouting Junior Vizcaino said Mola had “some softness” and “a little baby fat” and he challenged him to get in shape, which he did dramatically.
Mola has a big frame and multiple sources say he can be a good corner outfielder in the future.
Also among notable signees is RHP David Matoma from Uganda. According to John Dreker, Matoma’s fastball sits at 92-93 miles per hour, but that could change with proper development.
Of all 22 signees, the Pirates struck deals with seven players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, two from Colombia, and one deal from each of the following countries: South Korea, Uganda, U.S., Mexico, Cuba, Aruba.