The Boston Red Sox on Friday announced the signing of eight international free agents to minor league contracts.
The signings include two of the top three pitching prospects in this year’s international signing period, according to Baseball America. Right-handers Anderson Espinoza (No. 1) and Christopher Acosta (No. 3) bring plenty of potential — albeit raw potential — to the Red Sox organization.
Espinoza, according to Baseball America, has a loose delivery, a fastball that touches 94 mph and advanced secondary stuff. He’s considered perhaps the best 16-year-old international amateur this year, and his three-pitch mix could help him develop into an impact starter down the road.
Acosta, also 16, is said to be incredibly advanced for his age. Like Espinoza, Acosta features a three-pitch mix, which enhances his potential. Acosta’s fastball touches the low 90s and his changeup is considered one of the best in this year’s international market.
In addition to Espinoza and Acosta, the Red Sox signed right-handed pitchers Nicolo Clemente, Jhosmar Cortez, Roniel Raudes and Junior Espinoza, left-hander Luis Colmenares and third baseman Elwin Tejeda.
Multiple reports indicated last month that Boston had agreed to deals with both Espinoza and Acosta, so Friday’s announcement really was a formality. It’s still interesting to see the Red Sox make such a splash on the international market, though, as they reportedly went well beyond their allocated bonus pool to make such signings.
By doing so, the Red Sox must pay a 100 percent tax on their pool overage while also losing the right to sign any international amateurs for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods.
Clearly, the Red Sox have high hopes for the newcomers. All eight players currently are working out at the Red Sox’s Dominican Academy in El Toro, D.R.
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