Major League Baseball’s international signing period is open, and the Phillies have acquired themselves a super-beefy 16-year-old who could be their power-hitter of the future. His name is Jhailyn Ortiz, and he’s rich now:
“Last night, the Phillies announced that they had come to an agreement with 16-year-old Dominican slugger Jhailyn Ortiz.
In the news release, the team referred to the 6-3, 240-pound righthanded-hitting Ortiz as a rightfielder. But many in the industry believe he’ll eventually wind up as a first baseman.
Terms of the deal were not released, but according to MLB.com last week – when the two sides had a handshake agreement on the first day of the international signing period – the contract could be as much as $4.2 million.”
Ortiz’s highlight clips on YouTube are mostly still shots of the batter’s box as he takes cuts, but if hearing the crack of the bat is your jam, it doesn’t get much purer than this:
According to Ryan Lawrence, “Baseball America recently rated Ortiz’s power tool a “70” on the 20-80 scouting scale.”
“Consensus among scouts is that the raw power Ortiz shows as a 16-year-old is rarely seen on the international market, and the rest of his game is not far behind,” said MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. “Think Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder. Now, imagine them as teenagers and hitting from the right side of the plate.”
And remember that trade the Phillies made last week, acquiring the #1 international signing slot for some minor league arms? That helped them immensely:
“In addition to Ortiz, the Phillies also announced agreements with Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan and two more Dominican players, infielder Kuedy Bocio and lefthanded pitcher Manuel Silva.
Last weekend, the Phillies widened their budget for international signing by completing a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Phillies sent minor league pitchers Chris Oliver and Josh Taylor to Arizona, along with the ninth overall international signing slot, in exchange for the No. 1 overall international signing slot.
The trade gave the Phillies more than an additional $1.5 million to spend during the international signing period, which allowed them to sign Ortiz without incurring a penalty that could have affected them for the next two years. Any team that exceeds their pool by 15 percent or more cannot sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.”
So not only did the Phillies make solid strides towards their future, but they also made some moves that made… good financial sense? It truly is a new era for Phillies baseball. Or, at least, it will be. Maybe.