Rangers land brother of Vlad Jr., plus No. 8 int'l prospect

January 17th, 2023

The Rangers already boasted the younger brother of an All-Star in their Minor League ranks in Luisangel Acuña (brother of Ronald Acuña Jr.), and now they’ve added another after signing outfielder Pablo Guerrero, the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and younger brother of the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Rangers also agreed to a $3.2 million deal with shortstop Sebastian Walcott of the Bahamas, No. 8 on the international Top 50 list, among a total of 17 international signings the team announced on Sunday.

The Rangers have a base signing pool of $4,144,000 after forfeiting a total of $1 million from their pool for the signing of free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.

Guerrero currently trains in the Dominican Republic with his uncle, former Major League player Wilton Guerrero. He has a similar build as his older brother and might end up playing the same position. The teenager has played some third base and in the outfield. He projects to move to first base in the future.

How high is Walcott’s ceiling?

Well, some believe the long and lean shortstop could eventually rival Miami’s Jazz Chisholm as the best international prospect to come from the Bahamas because of his elite athleticism, physical projection and baseball IQ.

That’s quite a projection. And these are the reasons scouts found Walcott so appealing.

First of all, Walcott has a chance to hit for average with plus power potential. He’s already an above-average runner and he could be a potential base-stealer in the future. For now, he projects to hit near the top of the order. He could evolve into a middle-of-the-lineup hitter that drives in runs because of his growth potential and emerging strength.

Walcott trains with Geron Sands and Albert Cartwright at the International Elite Academy in the Bahamas.

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.