The Pittsburgh Pirates rarely sign talent from the island of Cuba. The teams' current Front Office just signed their first prospect to come from the Island.
At last year's trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Johan Oviedo. Oviedo came over from the Cardinals, whom he signed with out of the country of Cuba. Oviedo would represent something that has been rather rare in the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization, Cuban-born players.
There are a lot of reasons as to why with one being of course the political limitations for so many years. The players that found a way to the Majors often were in a price range too high for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since relations have improved between the two sides more Cuban players are making the jump to the states.
This year's International Signing period officially started on January 15th. The team signed some of the top talent available from different locations around the world including South Korea and even Uganda. Of course, they signed players from other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The team has now officially come to terms with a Cuban-born prospect by the name of Cristian Jauregui. Jauregui is the first Cuban-born prospect signed under Ben Cherington. The 16-year-old outfielder received a 6-digit bonus which represents the Pittsburgh Pirates optimistic thoughts about his potential.
There is not a ton known about the Cuban outfielder, but for him to receive a significant bonus means a lot. He is a left-handed hitting outfielder who projects to be a center fielder. His skill set on offense is best suited for the top of the lineup with good bat-to-ball skills along with plus plus run speed.
It is good to see the Pittsburgh Pirates casting a large net to gain future talent. Cuba has produced a lot of significant Big League talent and the Bucs have not really been involved in the market. Hopefully this Front Office continues to operate aggressively on the International Front.