Advanced hitter headlines Reds' int'l class

January 16th, 2021

The Reds’ 2020-21 international class is headlined by an advanced hitter with plus power potential.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to a deal with outfielder Ariel Almonte, No. 26 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects List, for $1.85 million.

The club has not confirmed the deal.

Almonte can flat-out hit. At the plate, he generates tons of backspin and can drive the ball to all fields, particularly to left-center. He has a feel for the strike zone and shows an advanced ability to recognize pitches. There’s not much swing-and-miss to his game. On defense, he projects to have a plus arm and has a chance to be an everyday right fielder in the big leagues. Like most prospects his age, Almonte is working on improving his reads and routes from both corner-outfield positions.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the -- like the Reds -- 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.

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.