Rangers sign promising international outfielder
The Rangers have a long history on the international market, and they are once again living up to their reputation as one of the most aggressive teams in Latin America.
On Thursday, the Rangers agreed to a $2.1 million contract with Dominican Republic outfielder Leodys Taveras, ranked No. 18 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool with four slot values based on the team's record in 2014 for the international signing period. The initial overall pool total for Texas during this year's signing period was $4,586,60, but the Rangers traded Minor League right-hander Jason Hoppe to the Angels on Thursday afternoon. According to an industry source, the Rangers received the 30th and 60th slots from the Angels, totaling $879,500.
Taveras is considered among the best all-around players in this year's class, and the 6-foot-1, 160-pound teenager could also be the most athletic.
Scouts like his defensive actions in the outfield, and his plus-run tool. He's expected to stay in center field as he progresses through the Minor League ranks, although he could move to a corner outfield spot because of his arm potential.
There is still room for improvement on offense, but the teenager has shown a decent hit tool and the ability to hit for some power. Overall, scouts think he has the components to become a successful hitter once he is placed into a team's academy, and receives daily instruction.
The Rangers also signed outfielder Miguel Aparicio from Venezuela for $500,000, catcher Francisco Ventura from Venezuela and left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin from Colombia.