Saturday, February 9, 2008

International men of mystery

In what has been the craziest, most expensive and most talent loaded international market ever in Camp (and maybe in HBD altogether), several teams have ponied-up for some future major league All-Stars. Here’s a look at some prominent signings from this year’s international market:

SS Miguel Siqueiros, Tucson Sands ($32.2 million bonus)
The Sands paid out a ridiculous record amount of $32.2 million to Siqueiros in addition to giving the 19-year-old a 5-year major league deal. Siqueiros looks to have an excellent balance of glove and bat for a SS and certainly has a chance to make a few All-Star teams in his career. Some are skeptical of Tucson’s decision to assign Siqueiros to their AAA team right away and whether or not that move will stunt his development is a question that won’t be answered for a couple of seasons.

P Julio Guillen, Scottsdale Dust devils ($15.9 million bonus)
Scottsdale jumped on the first big name available in the international market this season when they signed Guillen. Guillen boasts an above average fastball-change up combo with excellent control of both. In eight starts with Scottsdale’s Rookie League team, Guillen is 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 49 strikeouts this season.

P Pedro Barrios, Louisville Flame Throwers ($10.9 million bonus)
Barrios has the skills to be a future closer in the big leagues. He features an excellent sinker which he has great command of and can be equally tough on righties and lefties. In 24 appearances at HiA Louisville this season, the 20-year-old Barrios is 3-2 with 2 saves, a 3.18 ERA and 49 strikeouts.

P Jacob Lee, San Francisco Slumpbusters ($8.2 million bonus)
The 18-year-old Lee projects to be a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues someday. He has very good control of a very good fastball and is tough on lefties. He could have trouble with righties and lacks a big time secondary pitch, though his curveball will be effective. In seven games for San Fran’s Rookie League team, Lee is 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA.

C R.J. Mieses, Mexico City Day Laborers ($7.0 million bonus)
Probably the biggest bargain of this international crop, Mieses brings a big bat along with his great pitch calling. While he doesn’t have the greatest throwing arm in the world, Mieses may not have to worry about throwing runners out with some of the young pitchers in Mexico City’s system. In 38 games for the Day Laborer’s Rookie League team, Mieses is hitting .342 with 8 homeruns and 48 RBIs.

LF Ramiro Barcelo, unsigned
The bidding war continues for Barcelo who, at 22-years-old, could play everyday in the big leagues right away. With a couple years of minor league experience, Barcelo will be a force for years to come and will be a lock for at least a half dozen All-Star appearances.

SS Tomas Mateo, unsigned
Like Miguel Siqueiros, Mateo has a nice blend of glove and bat, though to a lesser degree. If he’s unable to reach his potential with the glove, he could easily make for a Gold Glove third baseman.

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