With the International Signing Period ready to begin, here is another article from John Yarusinsky. In it he discusses the player that has been linked with the Phillies for several weeks, shortstop Luis Garcia.
2017 International Signing Period: Who will be the Phillies top sign?
The 2017-18 international signing period begins on July 2, 2017 and runs through June 15, 2018. International players will be able to sign with any major league club; however, there are some caveats. First off, a player must turn 17 years old between July 2nd and June 15th of the following year, or by the end of the contract. Secondly, teams on average will only have $4.75 million to spend on international talent, unless they have competitive balance picks in rounds A and B of the MLB Draft which begins on June 12, 2017. Thirdly, any given team can trade bonus pool money to another club; however, it’s capped up to 75 percent. Lastly, if teams exceed their bonus pool, there will be strict penalties imposed. For example, during the 2014-15 international signing period, the Yankees exceeded their bonus pool and for the next two international signing periods (15-16, 16-17), the Yankees couldn’t sign any player for more than $300,000. Let’s see how the Phillies will fare.
For the 2017-18 international signing period, the Phillies will have $4.75 million to spend, assuming they don’t make trades for more bonus pool money. Although teams aren’t supposed to negotiate contracts with players until July 2nd (Mhmm…) Mlbpipeline.com just released the top 30 international prospects for the 2017-18 signing period:
According to Mlb.com international writer Jesse Sanchez, Dominican shortstop Luis Garcia (7th) will be selected by the Phillies. He’s not to be confused with Luis Garcia, another Dominican born shortstop taken by Washington in last year’s signing period. In the meantime, let’s put this year’s Garcia under the microscope, shall we?
Tale of the tape
- Luis Garcia, SS
- Hometown: San Pedro de Macoris, D.R.
- DOB: 10/1/00 H&W: 5’11” 160 Lbs.
- Bats: Switch Throws: Right
Garcia isn’t the biggest kid, but people forget, he won’t turn 17 until October. As the old adage goes “Big things, come in small packages.” When a 130 pound kid named Jose Reyes was spotted in the Dominican Republic in 1999, many had doubts due to his lack of size. We all know how those doubters must be feeling. Garcia is very similar. Defensively, Garcia has excellent range and his footwork is off the charts. His arm is more than passable for someone his size. Garcia has plenty of room to fill out and add at least 20-30 pounds of muscle to his frame. From the left side of the plate, Garcia has a free and easy swing with minimal moving parts. He makes solid contact and scouts love how the ball jumps off of his bat. His bat speed is a tick above average. Garcia is never going to hit for power, but his speed is heralded by scouts as tops of this year’s crop. If all goes according to plan, Garcia can become a .300 leadoff hitter, rack up 160-170 hits in a season, with 30 stolen bases. Who wouldn’t love that?
So, how much money are we talking for Garcia’s services? Let’s allow history to do the work for us! Here are the Phillies top signings from the last four signing periods. The last row (highlighted) is what I think Garcia will sign for:
- Period Bonus Pool Player/Position Rank Bonus Total Signed
13-14 $2,289,700 Luis Encarnacion, 3B 4th $1,000,000 35
14-15 $3,221,000 Arquimedes Gamboa, SS 8th $900,000 39
15-16 $4,562,000 Jhailyn Ortiz, OF 18th $4,010,000 32
16-17 $5,610,000 Brayan Gonzalez, SS 27th $800,000 61
17-18 $4,750,000 Luis Garcia, SS 7th $2,070,000 35?
One thing to point out is that due to the new collective bargaining agreement, the Phillies could receive more bonus pool money in trades with other clubs. So this analysis assumes that $4.75 million is all the Phillies have to work with.
I compared Garcia against the 13-14 signing period when the Phillies inked Luis Encarnacion. Why compare Garcia against this period specifically, you ask? For starters, excluding the 16-17 signing period, I averaged out how many players were signed during the remaining periods. The result was 35. Assuming the Phillies select 35 total players during the 17-18 signing period, to figure out Garcia’s worth, I divided the Phillies available bonus pool money against $2,289,700 million, the Phillies available money in 13-14. My result was 2.07. Why is this important? This mathematical correction allows us to assume what $2,289,700 would look like if the $4,750,000 threshold were imposed back then. Therefore, since Encarnacion received $1,000,000 during that signing period (43.5% of available bonus pool money), I multiplied this bonus by 2.07. If my calculations are correct, Garcia should receive $2,070,000 million, approximately 43.5% of the team’s bonus pool. Math is great, isn’t it?
What if Garcia gets hurt?
If Garcia gets hurt, I’d put my money on the Phillies to sign Raimfer Salinas. Little is known about the Venezuelan-born outfielder; however, here’s some scouting video:
What I like about Salinas is that his swing is free and easy. There’s also noticeable loft to it which suggests to me that as he grows older, there’s going to be some uptick in power. Salinas has an absolute cannon of an arm. He’s listed at 6’0” 175, so that’s a type of frame where he can add 20-30 pounds of pure muscle. The Phillies signed another Venezuelan born player in the past (Carlos Tocci) so I wouldn’t be surprised if Salinas is taken. There’s potential five-tool talent in Salinas.
Here’s a link to the best players available:
As you can see, one of them is Pedro Martinez Jr., son of Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. That would be sick to see Pedro Martinez follow his son around the minors!
Baseball America has linked the Phillies with 4 of their Top 50 International Prospects. In addition to #12 Garcia, they would be #25 RHP Victor Vargas from Colombia, #41 RHP Carlos Betencourt, and #42 Cesar Rodiguez from Venezuela. The scouting reports and such are behind their pay wall.
It is worth noting that the Phillies were one of the last teams to close their baseball academy in Venezuela. This seems to have earned them some good will in the country. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sign another large group of Venezuelan prospects.