The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 17-year-old Nicaraguan outfielder Heiron Montalban on Thursday. He originally agreed to a deal with the team back in July, but at the time it was noted that he still needed to go to the Dominican Academy at a later date and take his physical before the deal would be completed.
Montalban is very strong kid, listed at 6’0″, 215 pounds, who just turned 17 two days ago. He bats and throws right-handed. He is already known for his above average power with potential for more, while the rest of his game is considered somewhat raw, which is common coming from Nicaragua. He gets nice marks for his above average speed (6.7 in the 60 yard) and his defense in right field, so he has a chance to develop into a very toolsy corner outfielder. He signing bonus is reported to be $80,000.
Here’s a video from when he was still 15 years old:
The Pirates have now signed 33 players since the July 2nd signing period started. While we don’t have the exact numbers, their remaining bonus pool from $6,731,200 is down below $500,000 and it may have been lower than that before Montalban signed based on what we know.
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.