The Phillies have locked up one of the top catchers on the international market.
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a deal with catcher Rickardo Perez, No. 9 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects List, for $1 million. The club also agreed to deal with outfielder Yemal Flores for $1.4 million.
The Phillies have not confirmed the deals.
A left-handed-hitting catcher, the athletic Perez has been praised for his receiving skills, solid footwork, and quick release. He shows average arm strength and accuracy now and both tools are projected to be plus as he matures. On offense, the teen shows above average bat speed and consistently makes hard contact. He has the potential to be an above average hitter.
A star in Venezuela’s Liga Central de Desarrollo -- one of the country’s top leagues for prospects -- Perez fared well against top competition. He trains with Yasser Mendez, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program, in Valencia, Venezuela.
According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Draft have the most money to spend on international prospects, with a pool of $6,431,000. Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft receive the second most at $5,889,600.
The Phillies have a bonus pool of $4,732,700.
Unlike in previous years, teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.