Saturday was a big day in the prospect world, as the 2021-22 international signing period began. That means a new class of amateur prospects became eligible to sign with MLB clubs, and while the period runs through December, much of the action usually happens on the first day.
The Oakland A’s announced seven signings this afternoon:
- OF Carlos Pacheco (Venezuela)
- C Cesar Gonzalez (Venezuela)
- 1B Kevin Dume (Dominican Republic)
- SS Bryan Andrade (Venezuela)
- LHP Derek Corro (Venezuela)
- RHP Reinaldo Saa (Venezuela)
- RHP Manuel Perez (Dominican Republic)
None of these prospects ranked in the Top 50 of this international class at MLB Pipeline, but Pacheco got some attention from Baseball America at No. 33 on their board.
- Pacheco: $1.2 million
- Gonzalez: $0.8 million
- Dume: $0.6 million
- Andrade: $0.525 million
- Corro: $0.2 million
- Saa: $0.2 million
- Perez: $0.16 million
Oakland’s total bonus pool is slightly over $5 million, so the bonuses listed above make up the majority of what they’re allowed to spend but not all of it. There should be nearly another $1.5 million left, which is plenty to make another notable signing if they wish, and there are still some good prospects available.
Pacheco earns praise from Baseball America for several of his tools, including his speed, arm, and on-base ability. They suggest that the 17-year-old has what it takes to stick in center field defensively, while at the plate the right-hander makes contact and has shown a good feel for the zone.
Gonzalez is described by Melissa Lockard of The Athletic as “a power-hitting backstop with a strong arm who the A’s see developing into a middle-of-the-order threat.” Lockard reports that his bat is the highlight so far at age 17, but there’s optimism for his defense in the future, and the third generation professional player gets high marks for his baseball IQ, coachability, and overall makeup. Click here to watch video of him taking some right-handed swings and popping a couple throws down to second base.
Dume already stood 6’5” by age 15 (two years ago), and you can see two different videos of his left-handed swing: one from 2019, and one from this past November (2021). The A’s listed him as a first baseman in their announcement, but for what it’s worth the 2021 video refers to him as a third baseman and shows him taking grounders at the hot corner.
The A’s didn’t land one of the most expensive prospects this time around, like they did in the previous two signing periods with Robert Puason and Pedro Pineda, but they still added some talent. Pacheco sounds like an interesting leadoff/CF type, and the team thinks Gonzalez is “one of the top catchers in this class,” per Lockard.
Of course, the success stories don’t always correspond with the biggest signing bonuses. These are teenagers who have a long way to go toward the majors, and it’ll be years before we know how well they develop. Stay tuned to find out!