The Astros signed top Dominican outfield prospect Ariel Ovando, according to the team. Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Astros will pay Ovando a franchise-record bonus worth between $2.6-2.8MM. The 16-year-old bats left-handed and plays right field, and the Astros see him as an impact player.
“Ariel profiles as a middle of the order power hitter with excellent defensive skills,” GM Ed Wade said. “He profiles as a front line major league right fielder and should move quickly through the minor league system.”
Executives in the Astros' system compared Ovando to players such as Darryl Strawberry, Domonic Brown Jason Heyward, Fred McGriff, Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd. That's an impressive group of players, and it's not just the Astros building hype. Two scouts who chatted to MLBTR contributor Blake Bentley compared Ovando to Strawberry earlier in the season.