According to Baseball America, the Phillies have signed 16 year old international prospect from the Dominican Republic Luis Encarnacion to a contract worth $1 million.
He turned 16 at midnight this morning, and shortly thereafter the Phillies jumped in with the signing. (how’s that for a birthday present?) People with knowledge of the situation would’ve been shocked if the Phils didn’t sign him.
The 6-2, 195 pound third baseman is considered the #4 international prospect and a top hitter in Latin America according to the linked article. He’s expected to move to either LF or 1B.
This is a done deal, unlike the agreement with Cuban pitching standout Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, which has reportedly hit a snag.
This is the second international signing or agreement that Ruben Amaro Jr. has done this year. Does this mean that he’s modifying his strategy to build a winning team? With the success of guys like Yu Darvish, Yasiel Puig, and Yoenis Céspedes, the international market looks like it might be a good way to grab a good, MLB ready player–and if RAJ recognizes that and is adapting, I can’t knock him.