Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Strong International Free Agent Class
By Marty Leap
On Saturday the Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed a strong international free agent class led by a pair of top 12 prospects
As we had covered here at Rum Bunter earlier in the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates had been expected to sign a strong international free agent class. On Saturday, this came to fruition as the Pirates officially inked one of the strongest international free agent classes of any organization.
The Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed outfielder Tony Blanco Jr., shortstop Yordany De Los Santos, and Taiwanese pitcher Hung-Leng Chang. MLB Pipeline ranked Blanco Jr. as the 11th best prospect in the international free agent class while De Los Santos ranked 12th, as well as being the best shortstop prospect available.
Blanco Jr. signed with the Pirates for $900,000. Blanco Jr. already has great size at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. The right-handed hitting Blanco Jr. currently plays the outfield, although his future may be as a designated hitter. Regardless of position, Blanco Jr. brings 40+ home run potential to the Pirate organization.
Signing Blanco Jr. for just $900,000 seems to be a bit of bargain. Some defensive limitations may be what allowed the Pirates to sign Blanco Jr. for the price that they did. Prior to last week he appeared to be on his way to becoming a Tampa Bay Ray before Ben Cherington and the Pirates swept in.
The 6-foot-1, 170 pound De Los Santos signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for $1.2 million. The Pirates had long been viewed as the favorites to sign De Los Santos. After Saturday, he is now officially a member of the Pirate organization.
De Los Santos is a right-handed hitter with the a frame capable of adding weight and in turn potentially more power and strength. He routinely makes solid contact and should be able to sick in the middle infield long-term.
Saturday led to continued improvement to an already deep, talented Pirate farm system. While the team has yet to officially announce any of the signings, they entered the day with an international bonus pool of $6,262,600. It is also unknown what the final financial details of Chang’s contract are.