The international market continues to be a fairly inefficient arena despite advances in overall talent evaluation resources, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. An advancing timeline for reaching verbal agreement with July 2 prospects has exacerbated the difficulties of scouting young, swiftly changing players, says Badler. Generally, uncertainty and market manipulation are prevalent, creating an environment in which bonuses do not always match talent.
Here’s more from the international scene:
- The Yankees “made a run” at signing MLB.com’s top-rated international prospect, Eddy Julio Martinez, before the close of the 2014-15 July 2 period, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. A deal did not get done, however, meaning that Martinez will sign elsewhere at some point after July 2 (when the new year’s market open). New York is now just starting out on a two-year ban on international bonuses of over $300K.
- Broader difficulties are even greater in Venezuela, writes Badler, citing one scout who says “this is as bad as it’s been” to evaluate young players there. But the same large-scale economic issues that have crippled the country and had a trickle-down effect on the baseball industry have also created shifting incentives for ballplaying youngsters. Badler explains that, even as less resources and money have reached Venezuela, there is an increasing trend of teenagers devoting more time to baseball development in hopes of earning a chance at a contract, thereby sacrificing time that might have gone toward other pursuits. That has led to a bump in the overall talent level coming up, though of course it is probably not a positive indicator for the country’s young people.
- Badler also provides a preview of the best prospects coming up on the July 2 market out of Venezuela. The Rockies are “strong favorites” to sign outfielder Daniel Montano, who is expected to receive the largest bonus from the country (perhaps over $2MM). And the Rangers appear to have the inside track on another well-regarded outfielder, Miguel Aparicio, at a lower price tag.
- There’s plenty more to learn from the Badler pieces cited above, and you’ll want to give them a full read for all of the details.