Here's the latest from the international prospect market…
- "Every team had someone" present at Jose Abreu's showcases on Monday and Tuesday, Baseball America's Ben Badler reports, but the Rangers, Red Sox, White Sox, Marlins and Giants had the largest presences. Badler reported a few days ago that the Rangers could be the favorites to sign Abreu, with the Red Sox, White Sox, Pirates and Nationals also strong contenders.
- The Giants were known to be interested in Abreu and they sent "an especially large crew" to his showcase that included GM Brian Sabeau, Felipe Alou and Pat Burrell. Badler finds this curious given that the Giants already have Brandon Belt, but he speculates that San Francisco could sign Abreu and then move Belt to left field to possibly shop him in a trade.
- As for the showcase itself, Badler said Abreu "didn’t seem to hurt his stock" as a right-handed hitting power bat. Abreu took a few grounders at third base though that may have just been as a test of arm strength, as Badler writes that Abreu is "almost certain to sign as a first baseman."
- The Astros have signed 16-year-old Bryan de la Cruz to a contract with a $170K bonus, Ben Badler reports. A 6'2", 175-pound outfielder from the Dominican Republic, de la Cruz has "good tools" and has shown "power potential" from the right side of the plate. De la Cruz is the ninth player signed by Houston since the international signing period opened on July 2.