After more than a year of rumors, outfield prospect Pedro Pineda is officially part of the Oakland A’s organization.
Friday brought the beginning of this year’s international signing period, during which time teams may begin inking contracts with amateur prospects from abroad. It’s not a bidding war, as each club has a modest maximum amount they’re allowed to spend, so everyone gets a fair chance to recruit the top names. These signing periods usually begin in July, but this one was pushed back from last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While deals couldn’t become official until today, many of the best prospects often have their destinations figured out ahead of time. For example, Pineda has been linked to Oakland since August 2019, with that rumor reaffirmed last April. So, it’s not news that he’s coming to the A’s, but rather that pen was finally put to paper.
Pineda and the A’s agreed for “something less than $4M,” reports insider Jon Heyman. Their overall bonus pool is $5,348,100, so he took most but not all of it.
So, who is Pineda? The 17-year-old outfielder out of the Dominican Republic is one of the most highly touted prospects in this year’s international class, ranking 13th on MLB Pipeline. In terms of money he’ll rate even higher than that, as nobody else has a bonus reported above $4 million yet and only a couple even come close to that figure.
Pipeline offers the following scouting report:
Scouting Grades: Hit 50 | Power 55 | Arm 55 | Field 55 | Run 55
Pineda has broad shoulders, an athletic, projectable body and a collection of some of the best tools in this year’s class.
He’s best described as “explosive” and it’s easy to see why.
Pineda is raw, but has the potential to have plus tools. Specifically, he’s been praised for his hands and excellent bat speed. Like many prospects his age, there is some swing and miss to his game and his overall swing is a work in progress, but that’s not uncommon. For now, there’s some loft to his swing and his mechanics continue to improve. He also consistently hits the ball hard to all fields and can drive the ball out of the ballpark. He has the potential to be a base-stealer and an above average baserunner.
On defense, he has the ability to shine at the corner outfield spots, but is also comfortable in center field. He is learning how to contain his arm strength for improved accuracy and is expected to improve in that area once he signs and receives daily instruction in a team’s academy. Coachable and energetic, Pineda is a student of the game. He is also currently taking English classes.
A’s assistant general manager Dan Feinstein refers to Pineda as a “five-tool player” (per insider Martin Gallegos):
“He’s big, strong and physical with speed and power. Plays a really good center field. He’s got a rifle for an arm. It’s fun to watch him play baseball.”
Feinstein also said the A’s had Pineda pegged “early on in this process as the premier player in the class,” per Melissa Lockard of The Athletic.
This is the second straight year that Oakland has made a major international splash. In the previous signing period, they spent over $5 million on infielder Robert Puason, who now ranks among the team’s top five prospects.
The A’s also signed 11 other players Friday in addition to Pineda. Their bonuses weren’t announced, but anyone under a certain low threshold doesn’t count toward the bonus pool spending cap.
- CF Ángel Arévalo, 10/02/03, Caracas, Venezuela
- SS Dayker Baldallo, 11/29/03, Valencia, Venezuela
- SS Ray Garrett, 03/23/04, Miranda, Venezuela
- RHP Moisés Hernández, 02/20/04, Tacarigua, Venezuela
- SS Anderson Machado, 10/10/03, Caracas, Venezuela
- OF Beyker Martínez, 03/21/04, Maracaibo, Venezuela
- SS Germán Ortiz, 08/02/04, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- C Javier Pariguán, 02/05/04, Caracas, Venezuela
- RHP Jesús Perdigón, 09/21/03, Miranda, Venezuela
- CF Pedro Pineda, 09/06/03, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- LHP Sullivan Ribeiro de Almeida, 12/16/03, Colorado, Brazil
- RHP Jimmy Rojas, 10/31/03, Valencia, Venezuela
Soon we’ll start voting on our 2021 Community Prospect List, and find out where Pineda ranks within the A’s farm system!