Each year, Baseball America publishes a review of the International Free Agent signings for each team over the past calendar year. Ben Badler who puts these lists together is one of the best in the business at being plugged into the international market. For the most part we know the big names involved this past year for the Phillies, Badler has them with 39 total signings, with 5 of those signings over $100,000.
On the three shortstops apparently Arquimedes Gamboa is a bit bigger (6’0″ 170lb) than he was when he signed (5’11” 160lb), and this has also corresponded with his arm being rated more as plus as opposed to the average it was last year. There seems to be a lot of praise for Gamboa who does not have superstar tools, but has good contact skills, solid defensive skill, and has good feel for the game. As expected Gamboa will open in Extended Spring Training and then the GCL.
Daniel Brito goes from an amazingly skinny 6’1″ 140 to a super skinny 6’1″ 155. Brito is likely to come a long a bit slower as he physically develops, but a lot of his scouting report reads like an infield Carlos Tocci. Speaking of very young players, Jonathan Arauz will be one of the youngest player in professional ball this year. Arauz was the top signee out of Panama last year and he looks like he can stick at shortstop like Gamboa (Brito seems like a candidate for second base or center field). He might have the most power potential of any of the trio.
Same things as always on Lenin Rodriguez, offensive catcher, needs a lot of work defensively.
Ben’s report adds two more names to our list of known signees with third baseman Ricardo Baez ($100,000) and catcher Rodolfo Duran ($75,000). Baez might be the youngest player in the class having been born on August 28, and apparently impressed with his right handed bat and ability to stick at third. Ben thinks Duran could be a bit of a sleeper with a plus arm and feel for game contact at the plate.