Pirates Sign Heredia

The Pirates agreed to sign Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia for $2.6MM, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It's the biggest bonus the Pirates have ever given an international amateur.

Heredia's former team, Veracruz, will keep 75% of the bonus ($1.95MM) and Heredia will keep 25% ($650K). The 16-year-old right-hander already passed a physical and completed the agreement with the Pirates, though the sides have not yet officially signed the deal.

Former All-Star second baseman Roberto Alomar has compared Heredia to Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Up to ten teams were pursuing the son of Hector Heredia (a pitcher for Monterrey and Yucatan in the 1980s and 1990s who spent a few years in the Dodgers system).

Pittsburgh has long-standing connections to Veracruz and Heredia himself. It's been a breakthrough week for the Pirates, who signed right-handers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie before Monday night's deadline to come to terms with picks.

Rene Gayo, the Pirates' Latin American scouting director offered this assessment of Heredia, he has unusually high velocity for his age -- 92-93 mph on his fastball -- and equally uncommon coordination for someone who sprouted so tall at a young age. He throws four other pitches, all but the slider currently seen as above-average.

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