Here’s a few quick thoughts on Wednesday’s action to wrap up the day.
**The Pirates signed right-handed prep pitcher Hayden Hurst. No word on the bonus yet, although I’d have to think it was over-slot. I’ve heard that the Pirates were turned down on one other over-slot offer tonight. The Pirates were willing to go over-slot if the player signed tonight. Between that and Hurst, you’ve got to wonder if the talk of Mark Appel going back to school is for real.
**The Pirates signed Michael DeLaCruz for $700 K, matching the bonus given to Julio DeLaCruz last week (no relation). A lot of guys in the international ranks have the same descriptions. Five tool talents. Speed. Athleticism. One of the biggest myths is that there’s a huge gap between players who sign in July and players who sign in November. The players who are signed, are signed because they show those tools. However, they’re raw, which means the most important thing going forward is their ability to learn the game.
That’s really the difference between a five tool talent like Gavi Nivar and someone like Gregory Polanco. Both are tall, projectable outfielders with a lot of good tools. The difference is Polanco made the necessary adjustments to translate his talent on to the field, leading to his breakout season in West Virginia this year at the age of 20. Nivar is 22 years old and still in the GCL for the third straight year. Both of the DeLaCruz signings brought in guys with that raw talent. The most important thing will be turning that raw talent in to legitimate prospects. There’s a reason I don’t rank new international prospects in the top 50. There’s a long road from a guy with potential signing, and that same guy becoming a legitimate prospect, putting up the numbers you’d expect from a prospect.
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