Often minor league signings just go under the radar, whether a player just appears on a roster, on a BA transaction page, or just silently onto the official transactions page. These signings are not reported by beat writers, there is no press conference to announce. These players may never be impactful, but given that many Latin American signees come into the org this way, it is worth taking a look to see what we can find. So here we go with what little information we have.
Minor League Free Agents:
RHP Jairo Munoz – 6’5″ 175 – Age 23 – Released by Royals
Munoz has been not good in his career so far, which included 4 years in the Royals system including 2 in the DSL. No reports on his stuff, but he does have a projectable frame.
RHP Jason Berken – 6’0″ 210 – Age 31 – FA
Berken made the majors from 2009 to 2012 as a backend starter and reliever. He has been AAA starting depth for the past two years and that is likely what he is here for the Phillies while they sort through prospects.
LHP Anthony Vasquez – 6’0″ 190 – Age 28 – FA
Vasquez is a great story. He made the majors in 2011 for 7 terrible starts, then in the fall of 2012 he had to have emergency brain surgery. He has bounced around the minors since then as a starter. He is a low velocity LHP, but is coming off a winter where he had a 2.70 ERA 13 BBs and 25 Ks over 50 IP in Mexico. Much like Berken he will likely function as start depth.
Amatuer Free Agents:
RHP Luis Benitez – 6’3″ 195 – Age 22 – Talladega College
Junior college signee and former Blue Jays 31st round pick (2011). Benitez is a former middle infielder whose stats were not great at Talladega after transferring before the 2013 season.
2B Jhon Meison Herrera – 5’11” 170 – Age 16 (4/8/1998) – Maracaibo, Venezuela
I got nothing here.
RHP Mauricio Alejandro Llovera – 5’11” 200 – Age 18 (4/17/1996) – El Tigre, Venezuela
Llovera played on the Phillies in the Liga Paralela in Venezuela where he pitched 8 innings with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. Llovera pitched for a Tampa HS last year and was reportedly up to 91. This winter he apparently was up to 94 after flashing a 96 mph fastball in front of Phillies scouts earlier.
2B Raul Rivas – 5’10” 145 – Age 18 (10/27/1996) – Cumana, Venezuela
Got nothing here either.
RHP Williams Mendoza – 6’7″ 200 – Age 16 (4/29/1998) – San Felipe, Venezuela
If the H/W are true, this is a big boy for being only 16. There are no scouting reports that I can find.
CF Abdallah Aris – 5’11” 155 – Age 18 (10/8/1996) – Araure, Venezuela
This video could be him except the player is LH and Aris is listed as RH.
On a related note, I have been wondering why former first round pick Zach Collier has not signed with a team and it appears he had heart surgery recently. So I want to wish him a speedy recovery and that hopefully we see him on a baseball field again.