It’s July 2nd and that means the Brewers will once again be adding some new faces to the organization as the 2016-2017 International signing period gets underway.
The Brewers made a splash in 2014 when they inked Dominican shortstop Gilbert Lara, one of the top International free agents available, to a contract in excess of $3 million dollars, and have been bigger players over the past few seasons, signing infielder Franly Mallen and outfielder Nic Pierre to twin $800,000 deals in 2013 and giving $550,000 to catcher Jose Sibrian in 2015.
The Brewers have a bonus pool available of $4,098,500 this season and while Milwaukee hasn’t been linked to any of the top International prospects available this season, there are still some names to watch, including outfielder Pablo Abreu and infielder Jean Carlos Carmona, who are ranked #29 and #30 respectively by MLBPipeline.com.
Abreu, a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic is a bit on the smaller side, listed at 5’11” 175 pounds, but his good speed and defensive instincts make him an intriguing center field prospect. A line drive hitter with some gap power, he was ranked as Baseball America’s #44 prospect.
Carmona is another 16-year-old Dominican expected to sign with the Brewers and has the versatility to play either shortstop or third base. A switch-hitter who can generate power from either side, he also has plus speed and some believe he could also find his way to the outfield eventually. Carmona is ranked higher by Baseball America, checking in as their #20 prospect available.
Other names linked to the Brewers worth keeping an eye on include Venezuelans Anderson Melendez (OF) and Roberto Molina (C) as well as Dominicans Yancarlos Cruz (SS) and Victor Maria (SS).
*Update: Per Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Brewers have agreed to terms with Carmona for $725,000, and Abreu for $800,000 as well as Maria for $375,000 and Dominican outfielder Francis Tolentino for $500,000. Badler also reports that the Brewers have agreed to terms with Melendez and Cruz though no bonuses have been reported for the duo as of yet.
*Update: The Brewers officially announced a total of nine signings on Saturday, agreeing to terms with the following nine players.
RHP Jeison Medina, Dominican Republic
RHP Brayan Salaya, Venezuela
C Roberto Molina, Venezuela
SS Victor Maria, Dominican Republic
SS Jean Carlos Cruz, Dominican Republic
SS Jean Carmona, Dominican Republic
OF Pablo Abreu, Dominican Republic
OF Francis Florentino, Dominican Republic
OF Anderson Melendez, Venezuela