The Phillies have agreed to sign Venezuelan center fielder Yhoswar Garcia, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports (Twitter link). The Phils have been linked to Garcia for over a year, and are reportedly set to sign the 18-year-old to a bonus worth roughly $2.5MM.
Many of the top names in the 2019-20 international class were unofficially off the board since well before the signing window opened last July 2, though Garcia’s deal has only now been finalized because he only recently become eligible. As Badler explained in December, there was an age-related holdup since Garcia initially presented a birthdate that indicated he was a year younger than his actual age. The issue ended up being a delay rather than an obstacle, however, and Garcia will now join Philadelphia’s organization as planned.
Known as “The Drone,” Garcia backs up that MLB-ready nickname with “plus-plus speed in center field,” Badler writes. Garcia is 6’1″ and a relatively thin 155 pounds, though MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez figures Garcia to gain more weight as he gets older and subsequently adds power to some already-intriguing hitting ability. Garcia “shows good instincts and is a gap hitter,” according to Sanchez, who also feels Garcia has a lot of defensive promise as a center fielder with a good throwing arm.