Cubs set to sign top international prospect Jimenez
Dominican outfielder agrees to terms for $2.8 million bonus, plus college scholarship
It appears that Eloy Jimenez's dream of being the next Sammy Sosa and running around the outfield at Wrigley Field is one step closer to becoming a reality.
An industry source told MLB.com on Wednesday that the prospect has agreed to a $2.8 million bonus and a $250,000 college scholarship with Cubs, and is currently working out at the team's academy in the Dominican Republic.
Jimenez will officially sign with the club soon, the source said, but a timetable has not been set. The team did not confirm the agreement.
The 6-foot-4, 198-pound Jimenez, who ranks No. 1 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is considered the crown jewel of the 2013-14 international signing period and has impressed scouts with his intelligence, plus-speed, and gap-to-gap power.
He's considered a five-tool player.
"It's my dream to be a Major League baseball player, but I don't want to just get there," Jimenez told MLB.com less than two weeks ago. "I want to be one of the best players in the game and to ever come from the Dominican Republic."
He might be on his way.
A star in MLB's RBI program in the Dominican Republic and for the International Prospect League (IPL), Jimenez is considered an advanced hitter with quick hands who should hit for average. He projects as a corner outfielder and is expected to improve on all aspects of his game once he becomes a regular in the academy.
Like many international teens his age, Jimenez could use more in-game experience, but scouts rave about his makeup.
Jimenez, who also does karate, started playing baseball at age 9, primarily in the infield until he moved to the outfield three years ago. At 14, he caught the eye of trainer/agent Amauris Nina during a youth league game and started training with him. Jimenez's signing will mark the culmination of almost two years of hard work, and countless tryouts and showcases in front of Major League teams.
The outfielder will join a talented group if he finalizes the agreement.
So far, sources have linked the Cubs to some of the top prospects on the market. On Tuesday, sources confirmed that the team agreed to a deal with shortstop Gleyber Torres, the top player from Venezuela and third-ranked international prospect, for $1.7 million, and Colombia's right-handed pitcher Erling Moreno, who ranked No. 17, for $650,000.
The club also signed right-handed pitcher Jefferson Mejia for $850,000 and added catching prospect Johan Matos for $270,000.
Between their deals with the Astros, Orioles and Dodgers, the Cubs added $963,000 in international slot money to up their total pool to $5.52 million to pay for these prospects.
Like every club, the Cubs are hopeful their investments on the international market will pay off.
"I feel like I've done a great job so far," Jimenez said. "I know there are going to be highs and lows, but I'm staying positive. I'm ready to be a professional."