The Twins and 16-year-old Jelfry Marte have reached agreement on a deal that will pay the Dominican shortstop a $3MM bonus, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports (Twitter link).
Marte was ranked as the third-best prospect in the 2017-18 international signing class by MLB.com, with Baseball America slotting him 13th in their top 50 ranking. Scouting reports from both outlets praise Marte’s defense, tabbing him as a potential everyday shortstop at the big league level with good range and a good throwing arm.
The difference of opinion seems to come with Marte’s hitting, as while MLB.com feels Marte has some raw hitting potential that could improve under regular tutelage from minor league coaching, BA’s subscriber-only scouting report notes that many scouts see Marte as a hitter best suited near the bottom of a batting order. Marte has little power right now, though at 5’10” and just 140 pounds, more pop could come as he matures and adds some more weight. On the plus side offensively, Marte is seen as a good baserunner with potential to be a good base-stealer.
Minnesota entered the 2017-18 July 2nd period with $5.25MM available in bonus pool money, though the Twins and other teams are allowed to acquire more bonus pool space.