The July 2nd international signing period starts on Wednesday and so far, the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t been mentioned as possible landing spots for any of the top names. Today on Baseball America, Ben Badler has his July 2nd preview up and while none of his top 30 are linked to the Pirates, he adds in some other names at each position that are players to watch.
In that second section, Badler has the Pirates connected to Yondry Contreras, a center fielder with good speed and an above average arm. Contreras is 6’1″, 175 pounds and hits from the right side. He has a quick swing, but lacks plate discipline, which holds him back from being one of the top players in this class. Contreras comes from a family with an athletic background. He is the only player Badler mentions for the Pirates
The Pirates have also been linked to two right-handed pitchers, one being relatively unknown, though he is expected to command a decent-sized bonus. Bryan Sosa is a lanky 6’4″ right-hander from Panama, who is among the top prospects from his country in this signing class. He has drawn interest recently from the Pirates.
The other pitcher is Alonso Garcia from Mexico. He is 6’0″, 157 pounds and can hit 91 MPH. Garcia, who was born on May 30, 1998, pitched in the Mexican League earlier this season, making him the youngest player ever in the league. The Pirates have been linked to him since early this season and they even had him at their Dominican Academy working out back in February.
While no birthdays are mentioned for Sosa or Contreras, it sounds like all three of these players will be eligible to sign with the Pirates on Wednesday. If not, they will be eligible to sign on their 16th birthday, which would have to fall sometime before September 1st for them to be in this signing class.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.