Braves to snag Venezuelan OF prospect (source)
The Braves are hopeful their investment on the international market pays off in the future. Could the next superstar be on the horizon? The club sure hopes so.
According to industry sources, Atlanta has agreed to a deal with outfielder Luis Guanipa, the No. 34 prospect on the Top 50 International Prospects list. The Braves, who have a base signing pool of $5,284,000, have not confirmed the agreement. The deal is pending a physical.
Guanipa has a strong frame and a mature body that gives him a physical presence despite being only 5-foot-9. He also plays big.
The Venezuelan teen is aggressive at the plate and swings with intent to do damage. Guanipa has shown plus bat speed and the ability to drive the ball to the gaps. He should hit for average and his raw power is emerging. On defense, he displays plus instincts in the outfield. Combine his natural abilities with average to solid-average run times, and he should stay in center field. Guanipa trains with Omar Alvarez and Johan Hidalgo.
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.