D-backs land pair of Dominican prospects

January 18th, 2023

Arizona is once again showing its commitment to signing players on the international market.

The club came to terms with outfielder Gian Zapata, the No. 18 prospect on the top 50 international list, and shortstop Jeremy Rodriguez, the No. 47 prospect. Zapata's deal is for $950,000, while Rodriguez received $1.25 million, sources tell MLB.com.

In total, the D-backs, who have a base signing pool of $5,825,500, agreed to terms with 24 international signees.

If all goes according to plan, Zapata will start in center field and stay there for most of his career. He has enough arm strength to move to right if necessary, but it’s too early to tell if he will need to make the switch. He is a decent runner for his size and can cover some ground. His arm projects to be a plus tool and his routes are expected to improve with maturity.

At the plate, Zapata hits line drives to all fields and shows good bat control. He shows some signs of power, and it could be a talent that develops as he fills out his frame.

Zapata trains with Edgar Mercedes in the Dominican Republic, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

Rodriguez has tons of projectability and a good, strong body, and he has a chance to be an offensive-minded shortstop with power potential.

For now, Rodriguez’s bat is more advanced than his glove, but he continues to make progress on both sides of the ball. He has the potential to stay at shortstop because of his solid arm, soft hands and footwork.

Rodriguez hits from the left side and has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields with authority. More power is expected as his body matures and he adds strength.

Rodriguez is trained by Victor Marmolejos, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

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.