The Blue Jays made some news today by signing four players including their two first-round draft picks and two of the top 30 international free agents prospects.
Both Jeff Hoffman and Max Pentecost (selected ninth and 11th overall, respectively, in this year’s draft) signed on for bonuses that were exactly at the allotted slot value.
For Hoffman, who blew out his elbow, lowering his draft status but still getting selected in the top half of the first half, it’s a $3,080,800 payday and the Blue Jays hope that he’ll be ready to start pitching in competitive games early in the 2015 season.
Pentecost, rated by many as the best all-around catcher in the draft, takes home $2,888,300 to sign with the Blue Jays. Pentecost, according to Shi Davidi, will report to Vancouver next week once his passport is in order. He may have to fight Michael De La Cruz for playing time as De La Cruz has been tearing the cover off the ball, hitting .324 in 13 games with Vancouver.
Their signings, on July 2, coincide with the opening of the window for signing international free agents. The Blue Jays have been very active since Alex Anthopoulos took over the GM job, getting some of the club’s top prospects via the international free agent pool. Dawel Lugo, Alberto Tirado, Jairo Labourt, Miguel Castro, Franklin Barreto, Richard Urena and many other young players are starting to bubble up to the higher levels of the minor leagues for the Blue Jays and the new crop of signings is starting to become official.
According to Ben Badler at Baseball America, the top player that the Blue Jays have signed is Juan Meza, a 6-foot-3 righty from Venezuela, coming out of Carlos Guillen‘s academy. At 16 years old his fastball sits in the high-80s with projection for more and Badler like’s Meza’s changeup but thinks his curve needs work.
Also signing with the Blue Jays is the #30 prospect Kevin Vicuna, a 16-year-old shortstop who also comes from Carlos Guillen’s academy in Venezuela. Badler thinks Vicuna is more advanced in the field than at the plate and will need to fill out before he has much power.
Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!