The Cubs have already establish some precedent for their top international signees of 2013 as SS Gleyber Torres and OF Eloy Jimenez spent their first season at extended spring training and then played in the Arizona Rookie League. Torres is currently in the Midwest League and Jimenez is impressing in the Northwest League.
While none of the 16-year-olds signed this summer will be able to hit the diamonds until next season, some will likely get invited to the Cubs fall instructs to begin their pro career. Unlike two years ago, the Cubs didn’t land any of the “top players” of the class but they did take advantage of this year’s class depth and once again have eclipsed their spending limit ($3.2 million) and will be headed to the penalty phase for the next two seasons.
While some of these players may spend their first season of pro ball in the Arizona Rookie League, there’s a better chance they get their feel wet in the Dominican or Venezuelan Summer Leagues, and then make their stateside debuts in 2017. That said, the Cubs have stepped up their aggressiveness this year in the promotion department as several Latin American players comprise the squads in Mesa and Eugene.
Here’s a look at who the Cubs have reportedly signed (Cubs have yet to make any official announcement) and some of the other players the club has been tied to.
Name: Yonathan Sierra Estiwal
Hometown: San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
Age: 16 (DOB: 10/17/1998)
Weight: 205 pounds
Reported Signing Bonus: $2.5 million
Scouting Report: Early reports had Sierra receiving around $1.2 million but the left-handed hitting outfielder received the Cubs largest bonus thus far. His best tool is his bat as he shows the potential for power as well as ability to hit ball to all fields. His speed and arm are rated as average. He was ranked # 16 by MLB.com, # 31 by Fangraphs. Video of Estiwal
Name: Aramis Ademan
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Age: 16 (9/13/1998)
Weight: 150 pounds
Reported Signing Bonus: $2 million
Scouting Report: The Dominican was touted for his defensive skills by scouts and evaluators during many showcase events. Has a quiet approach from the left side and uses his quick hands to make solid contact but doesn’t generate much power. Ademan posses decent athletic skills but rates as an average runner. He played in the International Prospect Series in Cary, North Carolina, back in March. Ranked #19 by MLB.com and Fangraphs. Video of Ademan
Name: Yonathan Perlaza
Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela
Age: 16 (11/10/1998)
Weight: 175 pounds
Reported Signing Bonus: $1.3 million
Scouting Report: The Venezuelan attacks the ball with an aggressive swing from the right side and uses his hand speed to generate hard contact from the left side, easy to see why he’s valued as one of the top hitters in Class of 2015. Considered average speed and defense, Peerless provides the Cubs with more depth at middle infield. Perlaza was the Cubs the highest ranked prospect by MLB.com at #13 and was #31 by Fangraphs. Video of Perlaza
Name: Miguel Amaya
Hometown: Panama City, Panama
Age: 16 (3/9/1999)
Weight: 160 pounds
Reported Signing Bonus: $1.25 million
Scouting Report: The Panamanian is considered the top prospect from his country this year but is valued for his defensive skills and not his bat, which is considered below average by some evaluators. Amaya has an above average arm but will need to work on his bat from the left-side to develop into a complete prospect. He played in the International Prospect Series in Cary, North Carolina, back in March. He was rated #25 by MLB.com and #32 by Fangraphs.
Name: Christopher Martinez
Country: Dominican Republic
Age: 16 (6/28/1999)
Weight: 180 pounds
Reported Signing Bonus: $1 million
Scouting Report: The Dominican is one of the younger prospects in the class but still stood out as one of the top infielders coming out of the Dominican. He’s shown the ability to hit and with game power, displaying good awareness of the strike zone and a good approach at a young age. He ‘s also impressed scouts with his glove at third. He played in the International Prospect League in the Dominican.
Name: Yunior Perez
Country: Dominican Republic
Age: 16 (12/19/1998)
Weight: 175 pounds
Reported Signing bonus: $600,000
Scouting Report: The Dominican throws a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and at 6-foot-3 the Cubs hope he can increase his velocity as he frame fills out. Some reports have his curveball and change-up below average. He played in International Prospect Series in Cary, North Carolina, back in March. Ranked #45 by Fangraphs.
Throughout the July 2 process, the Cubs have been tied to Venezuelan right-hander Anderson Amarista. The 16-year-old fits the Cubs mold with his ability to throw three pitches for strikes and command the zone at young age with advanced maturity. Amarista is trained by Ciro Barrios, who trained Cubs prospects SS Gleyber Torres and 3B Wldamir Galindo. The White Sox are also in the mix for the pitcher from Margarita.
Two players from the Pacific Rim— pitcher Wen Hua Sung of Taiwan and 1B Gwang Min Kwon of South Korea—are reportedly close to deals with the Cubs. Sung, 18, pitched in the Little League World Series in 2009 and Kwon, also 18, is valued for his bat and potential power. If signed by the Cubs, both players could make a late appearance in the Arizona Rookie League.
The Cubs also reportedly have a deal in place with Brailyn Marquez, a 16-year-old left-hander out of the Dominican who throws his fastball in the low 90s and sports a decent curve and change-up.