Astros expected to sign Luis Baez, another international standout

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Astros are expected to sign another international standout, but this time from the Dominican Republic.

With draft picks being stripped from the Houston Astros, the front office has delve deep into international free agency to bolster the farm system. Pedro Leon is the first name to come to mind, but recently, they turned to the Dominican Republic for Luis Baez.

While not much is known about the 17-year-old right-hander, Baez can play the corner outfield positions along with first base. Standing at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, there is still time for the prospect to grow even more. With his size compared to his age, the right-hander will soon make a name for himself since he stands out on the field.

Here is film of Baez:

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While eligible to sign now, Baez is holding out until the 2021-22 international free agency signing period, when the pool of money resets. He is expected to sign in the range of a $1.25 million signing bonus, which would have been hard to fit this past year with Leon making $4 million in signing.

Baez is expected to mash home runs, although with his pure athleticism, he is not the fastest guy on the field. He has been compared to Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee and Miguel Cabrera with his ability, which is All-Star company.

There is a lot of expectation for young players with high signing bonuses, but with draft picks running dry in the past two seasons, the Astros could lose another one in 2022. Exceeding the luxury tax threshold at a certain percentage will leave the ball club down another top pick. This happened recently with George Springer’s comp pick that moved down a round due to exceeding the CBT in 2020.

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The Astros also signed right-handed pitcher Jorge Geraldo to a minor-league contract per the transaction page. The 6-foot-6 19-year-old was assigned to the DSL Astros.

In the midst of another set of signees (undrafted OF Jaxon Hallmark, 14th round pick RHP Bryant Salgado and 15th round pick RHP Adrian Chaidez) locked down, Pedro Baez was scheduled to continue his rehab assignment now with the Sugar Land Skeeters on Friday.