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