Many consider Acosta the best pitcher on the international market this year, and it's easy to see why he has garnered so much attention. Scouts like Acosta's tall and lean body along with his loose and easy arm actions on the mound. His fastball hovers in the 88 to 92 mph range, but his changeup might be his best overall pitch, and he can throw it in any count. Acosta's curveball has good rotation with bite, and he uses it in the strike zone early in counts and as a strikeout pitch.
Scouts like Acosta's command of all of his pitches and his overall feel for pitching. Some scouts believe he can look disinterested at times, and his delivery could use some work, but there is no denying his potential.
Could Anderson Espinoza be the next Pedro Martinez? Some scouts believe the 5-foot-10, 150-pound teenager from Caracas, Venezuela, might be the next closest thing.
Espinoza has three projectable pitches with command and he's a plus-athlete that has a chance to be a top of the rotation starter. Some scouts question his size and strength, but there is no denying the effectiveness of his power arm and his breaking ball.
The right-hander's fastball hovers in the 91 to 93 mph range and his curveball comes in between 71 and 73 mph. Espinoza's changeup also has some sinking action and some scouts think he could be the best overall pitcher on the market.
Espinoza doesn't look like the prototypical pitching prospect, but like Martinez, he could be the exception to the rule. He is trained by Felix Luzon. Several teams have expressed interest in Espinoza, but the Red Sox are considered the frontrunners to land him.
[SIZE=12pt]4. Anderson Espinoza, rhp, Venezuela[/SIZE]
Born: March 9, 1998. Height: 6-0. Weight: 170. B-T: R-R.
Francisco Rodriguez set the Venezuelan bonus record in 1998 when he signed with the Angels for $900,000. That’s how long it’s been since veteran scouts say that have seen a Venezuelan righthander with Espinoza’s size and talent. At (maybe) 6 feet, Espinoza has a Yordano Ventura frame that’s undersized by conventional scouting standards but has the best arm in the class. His fastball has steadily picked up speed over the last year, sitting in the low-90s and touching 94. With his outstanding arm speed, loose arm action and easy delivery, Espinoza has projection to throw even harder despite his smaller stature.
Beyond lighting up the radar gun, Espinoza separates himself from the class with his pitchability and secondary stuff. He throws slightly across his body at times but it’s a clean, repeatable delivery that helps him fill up the strike zone. His curveball has tight spin and sharp bite, a swing-and-miss offering that projects as a future plus pitch. The changeup is Espinoza’s third pitch, and while he hasn’t needed to use it much yet, he shows feel to throw it with good arm speed. He has pitched in several national and international tournaments, so his ability to set up hitters is advanced for his age. Espinoza is better—especially in terms of his delivery and ability to throw strikes—than Rangers 6-foot Dominican righthander Marcos Diplan, the top Latin American pitcher for July 2 last year. With the Red Sox believed to have heavy interest in Espinoza, who trains with Felix Luzon, that could push his price tag close to $2 million.
[SIZE=12pt]11. Christopher Acosta, rhp, Dominican Republic[/SIZE]
Born: Jan. 15, 1998. Height: 6-3. Weight: 170. B-T: R-R.
It’s rare for scouts to describe a 16-year-old Dominican pitching prospect as polished, but Acosta fits that label. While most pitchers at the MLB showcase in San Pedro de Macoris in January struggled to repeat their deliveries or locate the strike zone, Acosta worked quickly and efficiently, striking out four batters over two innings without allowing a hit or a walk. That advanced feel for pitching has helped Acosta, who trains with Alberto “Chico” Fana and pitches in the Dominican Prospect League, separate himself as the top pitching prospect in the Dominican Republic.
Acosta has a strong combination of savvy and stuff. With his long, lanky build, Acosta has room to easily add at least 20-30 pounds. His fastball already touches the low-90s with good movement and should spike up. He has one of the best changeups in the class, giving him a second lively pitch that he throws more frequently than most pitchers his age. Acosta throws from a low three-quarters arm slot, which causes him to get wide with his curveball, so the breaking ball is the pitch that will need the most attention in pro ball. If that pitch comes along, he could have three average to plus pitches and project as a starter. The Red Sox are the most likely destination for Acosta.
RedOctober3829 said:Two huge signings right there for the Red Sox. Two arms at the top of the international pool is exactly what this organization should be doing. Now if they can sign Tomas.....
The Red Sox have pumped the lower levels of their farm system with exciting position players from Latin America, including Wendell Rijo, Manuel Margot and Rafael Devers. Righthander Francellis Montas, who the Red Sox signed in 2009 and traded to the White Sox to get Jake Peavy, was selected to the Futures Game, but most of Boston’s best international signings have been position players. That could change this year. The Red Sox have the No. 29 bonus pool in baseball at $1.88 million, but they appear ready to go well beyond that and face the maximum penalty of a 100 percent tax on the overage and not being able to sign a player for more than $300,000 the next two signing periods.
Their two top targets are pitchers, including the best pitchers on the market in Venezuelan righthander Anderson Espinoza. Several scouts believe the best pitcher in the Dominican Republic is Christopher Acosta, another seven-figure pitcher the Red Sox will likely sign as well. Venezuelan righthander Junior Espinoza, Dominican shortstop Elwin Tejada and Nicaraguan righthander Roniel Raudez also look like Red Sox targets in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.
Watching showcase games for 16-year-old Latin American pitching prospects can be grating. Most pitchers don’t yet have the strength or experience on the mound to repeat their deliveries with any sort of consistency, so strike-throwers are a rarity. That’s why pitchers such as Anderson Espinoza, Christopher Acosta and Juan Meza stick out, with a combination of stuff and feel for pitching. A lot of teams prefer to make their pitching investments on the mid-range and lower-dollar signings, with the hope that their stuff jumps forward with physical maturity and they can break out as prospects a few years in the future.
CoffeeNerdness said:Can someone explain the only being able to spend 300K on a player over the next two signing periods rule?
DavidTai said:Even more amazing, in my eyes - how they located that guy is gonna be a story I want to see badly now.
Nicaragua has occurred in recent years prospects of more interest and impact for organizations in the majors, and this has been reflected in the bonds that have received several, as Cheslor Cuthbert, who spent a million dollars in 2009, and Jesus Lopez, who leaned against the six-digit figure last year.
Now is the turn of the lanky shooter Roniel Raudez Granada, who as of today is eligible to sign with any Major League organization, today and will do so with the Boston Red Sox by a figure walks the quarter by million.
The firm includes incentives according to the rise of pinolero prospect in the organization, which could raise the loot to $ 350,000 according to several international reports say the jackpot will lead the Dominican Gilbert Lara with a firm 3.2 million dollars with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Raudez is described by scouts as a shooter athletic body with fluid movements and a good throwing mechanics. His fastball bites the ninety miles per hour and has a dutiful curve and a changeup. Despite its age, has a good idea to launch and dominates all picheos. In short, it is a legitimate prospect that many organizations would like.
Boston will be the main buyer of this year in Nicaragua, because the pitcher Diosmar Cortez also carry for more than one hundred thousand dollars bond.
Both Raudez and Cortez are the product of the Silva Program, owned by Hubert Silva, who increased to five the number of players signed in the last three years, giving somewhat psychic stimulus, such as economic to continue polishing talent with the valuable help of the Dominican coach Aneury Garcia pitching. Currently has a group of ten eligible to sign players the next two years.
Furthermore, Roniel has received support from his Uncle Julio Raudez, one of the best pitchers in the history of our baseball and who also had the opportunity to play professional baseball with the organization in San Francisco.
Nicholas is so entered in the Italian Academy of Fibs, Tirrenia, a year and a half ago. Bill Holmberg, the school's director, who is also a pro scout for various deductibles, it has been noticed the class. Not just the physical, if you have not ... dynamite in the arm. And who knows, there is not even a hint of Sabermetrica signaling agent in the European Red Sox, Rene Saggiadi. The Sabermetrica is a science invented by Bill James (from SABR, the American Society of Baseball Research). Of course, the launch speed of Nicholas is already worthy of important stages. He seems to have passed the fateful threshold of 90 miles.
Nicholo Clemente, was born in 1998, grew up in Flat, in the province of Bologna. And now is a Red Sox. He signed for the team that the reigning MLB: Boston. With a very rich contract, even if the family did not wish to make known figure as it normally uses in baseball. Specifying that has not arrived - and you have not even approached - the record of last year, when the Kansas City Royals have paid 1,300,000 Marten Gasparini, then 16 years old, the Friulian Cervignano. The highest figure ever spent on a European player. "It 's the dream of my life," he said at the signing, at the Hotel Cosmopolitan Bologna. "From an early age I have always been a fan of the Red Sox."
Nicolò the start of this season was in the youth of Fortitude Bologna, and he attended the Academy in Tirrenia. It 'a pitcher, right. On him the interest of the Red Sox has grown gradually, after reporting to René Saggiadi, the scout for Europe of the franchise in Boston. A brief Nicholas will be shipped to the Dominican Republic, where the MLB has an Instructional League, a league for young prospects like him.
These nine Italians currently under contract with MLB Club
Nicholas Clement, of Flat (Bo, 1998 Boston Red Sox, in Dominican Republic, pitcher
Joel Valera, of Flat (Bo), 1996 Los Angeles Dodgers in the Dominican Republic, external
Mattia Mercuri, Anzio, 1994 Atlanta Braves in Dominican Rep. 2nd base
Alberto Mineo, Ronchi Decree, 1994 Chicago Cubs, Arizona Rookie Leagu Catcher
Frederick Castagnini, Verona, 1991 Baltimore Orioles Mill in Aberdeen Ironbirds, Single A short season, 2b
Marten Gasparini, Cervignano, 1997 Kansas City Royals, Burlington Royals, The Rookie, shortstop
Frederick Celli, Rimini, 1995 Los Angeles Dodgers, is making maturity
David Anselmi, Verona, 1995 Cincinnati Reds, Arizona Rookie League, pitcher
Alex Liddi, Sanremo, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, Albuquerque Isotopes, Trilpo A, 3base
huh? where is 2014-2015? Why 3 years? It says two.mabrowndog said:
It's just what it sounds like. The next two signing periods will be July 2, 2015 through July 1, 2016, and then July 2, 2016 through July 1, 2017. So essentially, they can't sign any player for a bonus of more than $300,000 for the next three calendar years.
The rule stems from the bonus pools, which are set up like the draft pools. Each club is assigned a pool based on the prior season's record and/or finish. For the international pool this year, Boston's ranks 29th out of 30 teams at $1.8 million. Since they've already blown by it, they'll pay the above penalty -- plus there's a 100% tax on every dollar they spend above that limit.
Why are the Sox doing this? Because it's likely an international draft is on the way, probably when MLB and the MLBPA negotiate their next collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA runs through the 2016 season. Once a draft is put into effect, the penalties under the prior system become moot. Boston is saying, "WTF? It's only money. Our system is flush with young hitters, now we're adding the two most advanced young pitchers on the market. We've done ok with mid-level guys in the past, while most of the big-dollar kids really haven't panned out. We can live with the $300k limit until the new draft comes along."
I assume the period we are in currently is July 2, 2014 - July 1, 2015. So they could continue spending all they want until July 1, I guess?bosox79 said:huh? where is 2014-2015? Why 3 years? It says two.
Also what happens if they sign 30 guys to $300k contracts next year, going over budget again?
The Red Sox, already in the max penalty spending range for the 2014-15 international signing period, have signed Dominican shortstop Elwin Tejada for $300,000. Tejada, 16, has a long, ultra thin frame at 6-foot-2, 150 pounds. He has a solid righthanded swing and a high baseball acumen that stands out more than his raw tools. He can play shortstop for now, though he might have to move off the position depending where he goes physically. Tejada played in the Dominican Prospect League.
Earlier today the Red Sox also signed Venezuelan righthander Anderson Espinoza for $1.8 million and Dominican righthander Christopher Acosta for $1.5 million.
Italy's the 2nd best baseball nation in Europe. They've won the European championship 10 times in 32 tries (Netherlands: 20), and come in the top 3 places 28 out of 32 tries.DavidTai said:Ok, I hadn't even realized the Red Sox had scouts in -Italy-.
What's next, the Russians?
I think if a team is looking to maximize the amount of talent they can acquire with the current international market (and ignore the financial cost), then blowing through the cap every 3 years is probably the optimal strategy. Yeah, it's expensive when you're paying 100% tax on that year, but I guess you balance that against the odds that one of the guys you sign will be available as a cost-controlled player that saves you from signing an overpriced FA down the road and the more total talent you have in your minor leagues the better your chances get.Chuck Z said:So it appears the Sox are saying that if we can't spend anything the next two years, we're just going to grab everyone now. Not the worst move I've ever seen.
Chuck Z said:So it appears the Sox are saying that if we can't spend anything the next two years, we're just going to grab everyone now. Not the worst move I've ever seen.
He has pitched in several national and international tournaments, so his ability to set up hitters is advanced for his age. Espinoza is better—especially in terms of his delivery and ability to throw strikes—than Rangers 6-foot Dominican righthander Marcos Diplan, the top Latin American pitcher for July 2 last year
I just wish they hadn't picked the same year the Yankees had, though.
Adrian Rondon (1), Brayan Hernandez (3), Gilbert Lara (5), Dermis Garcia (9), Kenny Hernandez (13), Ricky Arecena (17), Christopher Torres (20), Bryan Emery (23), and Ronny Rafael (25) are all still available.
Luis Colmenares: LHP, Venezuela
16 years old, 6-foot-0, 175 pounds
Colmenares came on late in the signing season, showing an 87-88 mph fastball and athleticism. While he’ll likely enter the system as a starter, his likeliest long-term projection is as a reliever.