Reports: Boston Red Sox Sign Two Top International Pitching Prospects

Chris AcostaThe Boston Red Sox made a splash on the international market Wednesday, signing two top pitching prospects, according to reports.

MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports the Red Sox have signed 16-year-old Dominican right-hander Chris Acosta. Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports Boston also has signed 16-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Anderson Espinoza.

Acosta signed for $1.5 million, according to Sanchez. He was ranked the top international free-agent pitcher — and No. 6 international free agent overall — by MLB.com. Baseball America ranked Acosta the third-best pitcher — and No. 11 prospect — on its Top 30 International Prospects List.

Acosta is listed at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, though he has room to fill out. According to Baseball America, Acosta is incredibly advanced for his age. He reportedly features a fastball that touches the low 90s with good movement, one of the best changeups on this year’s international market and a developing curveball.

Espinoza signed for $1.8 million plus $200,000 in college scholarship money that won’t count against the bonus pool, according to Badler. He was ranked the second-best international free-agent pitcher — and No. 10 prospect overall — by MLB.com. Baseball America ranked Espinoza the best pitcher — and No. 4 prospect — on its Top 30 International Prospects List.

Espinoza is listed at 6 feet and 175 pounds. According to Baseball America, Espinoza has a loose delivery, a fastball that touches 94 mph and advanced secondary stuff.

Between the two reported signings, the Red Sox have gone well beyond their bonus pool and will face the maximum penalties for doing so. The penalties include a 100 percent tax on their pool overage and the loss of the right to sign any player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.

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