The Twins are adding one of the top shortstops on the international market to their Minor League system.The club has agreed to a deal worth an estimated $3 million with Jelfry Marte of the Dominican Republic, according to industry sources. Marte, who is ranked No. 3 on MLBPipline.com's Top 30
The Twins are adding one of the top shortstops on the international market to their Minor League system.
The club has agreed to a deal worth an estimated $3 million with Jelfry Marte of the Dominican Republic, according to industry sources. Marte, who is ranked No. 3 on MLBPipline.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is a good runner with quick hands, a strong arm and the defensive tools that could make him a future everyday shortstop in the big leagues.
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The Twins have not confirmed the deal, as it's pending a physical. But speaking in general terms, vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff said the organization can never have too many young shortstops, even after taking Royce Lewis with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft.
"Middle of the diamond players is our objective both in the Draft and internationally, no doubt," Radcliff said. "That'll be our focus forever to try to find those guys."
At the plate, Marte makes consistent hard contact from both sides of the plate. He has shown good bat speed and a solid hitting approach. He is a line-drive hitter now, but could develop some pop as he grows and his body matures.
According to the new rules established by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, every team will get at least $4.75 million to spend on international prospects. Any team receiving a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the Draft will get $5.25 million in international bonus pool money. Additionally, teams receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick will have $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.
Minnesota's pool total for this year's signing period is $5.25 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.
Twins reporter Rhett Bollinger contributed to this story.