July 2, at midnight, marked the first day a Major League Baseball team could sign an internation free agent. The Indians left their mark.
The Indians announced the signing of Francisco Miguel, an athletic, righthanded-hitting outfielder with a 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, from La Academia in the Dominican Republic and signed with the club for $200,000. I could not find much information on Miguel, so feel lucky you at least know how tall he is.
The Indians also announced that they have signed Dominican shortstop Dorssys Paulino for $1.1 million. Paulino is the son of Jesus Sanchez, a lefthander who pitched for the Marlins, Cubs, Rockies and Reds from 1998-2004. A 16-year-old from Bani who trains at La Academia and plays in the Dominican International League. Paulino will likely move off shortstop but has one of the better bats among Dominican infielders, according to Baseball America. I talked to a scout I know from the Reds system, and he mentioned that "he has good bat speed, his hands work well at the plate and he's a quality game hitter who can use the whole field. He's strong and projects to have average power, becoming more of a doubles hitter than a consistent home run threat. He runs well and has a good arm, but his range and body type will likely make him a better fit at second or third base."
In recent years the Indians have stayed out of the July 2 race, preferring to sign players who were passed over in previous years or waiting until later in the year for players' asking prices to drop to more reasonable levels. So it is nice to see the organization be a little agressive in signing Paulino, who was rumored to be on the Red Sox hot list.
Photo Courtesy of Academia Beisbol
I am a long time Indians fan living in Shanghai now, so I miss my Tribe- but I follow them religiously and am glad that the brass is getting more involved in the international market for players. Paulino looks like an Asdrubal Cabrera-type bat with a Luis Valbuena glove. Paulino and Francisco Lindor could be the DP combo of the future, but Cabrera is a keeper. With Chisenhall and Kipnis on the horizon, the Indians infield could be exciting in a few years. That's a lot of talented depth.
Here is what I found on BA about Francisco Miguel. Jose Leal is an athletic Venezuelan outfielder whose righthanded bat and hitting mechanics are raw. He could be an interesting lower-level sign due to his athleticism and wiry 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame- Dominican outfielder Francisco Miguel is similar to Leal with his wiry strong 6-foot-3, 190-pound body, athleticism and raw righthanded bat. Miguel, who is from La Romana, is a center fielder with an average arm.