The Blue Jays are once again making a big splash during the international signing period.
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a $4.1 million deal with outfielder Enmanuel Bonilla, the No. 7-ranked player on the Top 50 International Prospects list. The Blue Jays, who have a base signing pool of $5,284,000, have not confirmed the agreement. The deal is pending a physical.
A corner outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Bonilla already shows plus raw power and is one of the best sluggers in the class.
Physically, he’s strong and mature with room to develop even more. And while his hit tool is a work in progress just like other prospects his age, Bonilla shows superior bat speed and the ability to hit fastballs hard to all fields. He has the potential to make an impact on the game each time he steps into the batter’s box.
On defense, he shows good instincts with a solid arm and could stick in center field. There’s a chance he could move to a corner position in the outfield as his body matures, and he’s athletic enough to play all three spots. He trains with Ysbel Medina.
An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year -- in practical terms, that means players born between Sept. 1, 2005, and Aug. 31, 2006, will be eligible to sign in the upcoming signing period. Players have to be registered with Major League Baseball in advance in order to be eligible to sign.
Teams are allowed to trade international bonus pool money starting Jan. 15.