Mets Sign No. 25 International Prospect Ali Sanchez http://t.co/QQKB9numUl— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 2, 2013
The Mets signed the 6'0", 180 lbs backstop for $690,000 -- quite a hefty sum as far as international free agents go. Badler tabbed Sanchez as the 25th-best prospect in this year's draft class. Further, the 16-year-old is viewed by analysts as the second-best catching prospect in this year's crop -- behind only fellow-Venezuelan Jose Herrera.
Here's a more in-depth summary that Badler had on Sanchez in one of his latest international prospects previews:
"Sanchez is more athletic than [Jose] Herrera and has more experience catching, which is evident in his catch-and-throw skills. He’s an intelligent, high-energy player who has good hands and is a good receiver. He has a solid arm that plays up due to his quick transfer and accuracy. At his best he’s a quality defender who hits in games, though there are skeptics who question his bat. He doesn’t show much power, so he doesn’t stand out in batting practice, but scouts have seen him hit a lot against live pitching, showing a consistent approach and a contact-oriented swing. Sources believe the Mets have been tracking Sanchez for a long time and will make his signing a priority."
Additionally, the Mets have signed Venezuelan righthander Luis Silva:
Mets Sign 16-Year-Old Venezuelan RHP Luis Silva http://t.co/JRsmRvmmkA— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 2, 2013
Another 16-year-old from Venezuela, Silva also stands at 6'0", 170 lbs and signed for a more reasonable $275,000. Badler elaborated on Silva:
"Silva, 16, is 6 feet, 170 pounds with long arms, a high-waisted frame and a loose delivery. He throws strikes and generates sink on his fastball, which he can run up to the low-90s at times. He also throws a mid-70s breaking ball and a solid changeup for his age. Silva trained with Julio Bolivar."
The Mets have also been linked to a third Venezuelan prospect, teenaged shortstop Luis Carpio. No word as of yet on a corresponding signing -- however, it's highly likely that the club will make at least another move or two before the dust settles on the start of this year's signing period. Keep checking back here for the latest news and info!
Badler has reported that the Mets have also signed Dominican shortstop Yeffry de Aza for $475,000. Here are his comments on the 16-year-old infielder:
Scouts highest on de Aza, 16, think he can become an offensive second baseman with some power to his pull side, although scouts were mixed on his game hitting. He’s 6 feet, 170 pounds with average speed, solid hands and an average to above-average arm. He’s earned praise from scouts for being a hard-nosed, high-energy player. De Aza plays in the Dominican Prospect League and trains with Pedro Nivar, who is known as “Nube.”
Take a look at the comments section below for photos of all three prospects as they sign their professional contracts (h/t to Russ).