The Rangers wasted little time on Sunday, the first day of the international signing period, finalizing pacts with three top prospects in this year's class.According to industry sources, the Rangers agreed to a $1 million deal with Venezuelan shortstop Keyber Rodriguez, ranked No. 19 on MLBPipline.com's Top 30 International Prospects
The Rangers wasted little time on Sunday, the first day of the international signing period, finalizing pacts with three top prospects in this year's class.
According to industry sources, the Rangers agreed to a $1 million deal with Venezuelan shortstop Keyber Rodriguez, ranked No. 19 on MLBPipline.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, and also came to terms on a $1.3 million deal with Venezuelan outfielder Wildred Patino, ranked No. 25, and right-handed pitcher Damien Mendoza of Mexico, ranked No. 27, for $1 million.
The Rangers did not confirm the deals.
• Complete breakdown of where Top 30 international prospects landed
The lean Rodriguez is a speedy middle infielder and a plus runner with sound defensive actions. He makes all of the routine plays on defense and has decent arm strength. He has been praised for his mature approach at the plate and for his good bat speed through the strike zone. Rodriguez's overall offensive skill set might be best suited for the top of the batting order.
Patino profiles as a center fielder and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. He has plenty of arm strength for the position and could probably play all three outfield positions, if needed. He has a projectable body and lots of raw talent.
As for Mendoza, he's known as a strike-thrower and has been praised for his loose and fluid arm actions. He has a fastball that tops out in the 92-mph range and it usually hovers in the 86- to 88-mph range with some late movement. The teenager also has a good feel for his changeup and curveball, and can throw both for strikes.
The Rangers also signed shortstop Diosbel Arias for a $700,000 signing bonus. He was born in Cuba and now resides in Haiti.
The other Rangers international signings included Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Orceli Gomez ($500,000), shortstop Derwin Barreto ($335,000) and outfielder Ronier Lascarro ($320,000). They also signed shortstop Anyelo George ($85,000) and Randy Florentino ($25,000) from the Dominican Republic.
All the Rangers signings have not been confirmed by the club because they are pending physicals.
According to the new rules established by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, every team gets at least $4.75 million to spend on international prospects. Any team receiving a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the Draft gets $5.25 million in international bonus pool money. Additionally, teams receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick get $5.75 million to spend.
A club can trade as much of its international pool money as it would like, but there is a limit -- 75 percent of a team's initial pool -- to how much one team can acquire.
The Rangers' pool total for this year's signing period is $4.75 million.
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.