The Pittsburgh Pirates signed their top international target from this year’s July 2nd class on Tuesday. Outfielder Jean Eusebio was signed along with 21-year-old right-handed pitcher Osvaldo Bido. No bonus info was announced and we are waiting to hear back from the Pirates confirming the details. Eusebio was identified by Baseball America’s Ben Badler as a target for the Pirates, though as we pointed out in this June 29th article, he wasn’t eligible to sign until his 16th birthday, which was on August 22nd. That article also has seven video clips of Eusebio to check out.
Eusebio is a left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing outfielder, who has grown slightly since that June 29th post. I actually guessed in that article linked up top that he would, though it’s not saying much to think a 15-year-old isn’t done growing. Eusebio went from 6’0″, 160 to 6’1″, 170 pounds, with plenty of room to fill out his frame and add power.
The pitcher Osvaldo Bido is listed at 6’3″, 175 pounds and he is from the Dominican.
The Pirates have now signed 21 international players since July 2nd. Eusebio will likely be the highest priced signing, surpassing the $170,000 bonus given to 17-year-old Dominican outfielder Pedro Castillo on July 2nd.
UPDATE: I talked to Eusebio and he said he received a $550,000 bonus, which would be the highest the Pirates have handed out since Michael and Julio de la Cruz received $700,000 in 2012, and the eighth highest ever. They will likely surpass that next year with a $5.75 M bonus pool, but he received over 25% of their pool from this signing period.
Over the winter in the Dominican, Eusebio hit .314/.464/.462 in 45 games playing in a prospect league made up mostly of 16-18-year-old players. Eusebio played center field and participated in more games than anyone else.
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.