Pittsburgh Pirates: Targets for the 2018 July 2nd Signing Period

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

With the MLB Draft over for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it is time to look toward the international signing period that will be opening up on July 2nd.  Who are some prospects the Bucs could sign?

The Pittsburgh Pirates just added another wave of prospects through the 2018 MLB draft.  Some of the top names were first-round pick Travis Swaggerty, who has already signed, and prep arms Gunnar Hogland and Braxton Ashcraft.  Hoglund and Ashcraft have not officially signed, but according to reports they plan on doing so.

However, in just two weeks the international signing period for the 2018 season will be opening up.  The Pittsburgh Pirates along with 29 other MLB teams will be looking to bring in more top talent through the international market.  Baseball America is always the go-to site when it comes to the international market.  The site already has listed four prospects that are expected to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Here is who Baseball America expects the Bucs to sign:

Two Projectable Outfielders

The first player they mention is an outfield prospect by the name of Sergio Campana.  The scouting report on Campana is that his best tool is his athleticism.  He is a right-handed hitter and thrower with plus speed that will keep him in center field most likely.  There is a video of him shared on youtube where he is doing various baseball workouts (shared by Baseball America).  His swing is very quick and short, producing a lot of hard-hit line drives and groundballs. He is listed at 6’1” and 175 pounds.

The next prospect that is considered a strong lock to the Pittsburgh Pirates is another Dominican outfielder by the name of Osvaldo Gavilan.  Of the prospects talked about, Baseball America expects Gavilan to be the Pittsburgh Pirates biggest bonus player.  They are projecting him to get close to six figures.  Gavilan is a left-handed hitter who is said to have plus power and plus speed.

A Shortstop and a Pitcher

For the last two prospects, there is not a ton of details listed.  The first one is a shortstop from the Dominican by the name of Maikol Escotto.  Escotto along with, Gavilan, and Campana, trains with a Dominican trainer that is referred to as “Banana.”  The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed several players from him over the last few years.  The other player is a left-handed pitcher from Venezuela named Adrian Mendez.

Next: Shane Baz back on the Mound

Of course, the biggest news for the Pittsburgh Pirates about this year’s July 2nd international period is that it will be their first without Rene Gayo at the helm in a long time.  Gayo was credited for turning around the Pittsburgh Pirates international scouting presence.  However, he was suddenly let go last year after it was determined that he was taking side payments from Mexican Clubs for getting their players signed.  Major League baseball later suspended him.