The Astros sign two more Cuban prospects for the 2021 international signing period.
On Saturday, the Houston Astros came to an agreement to sign two more prospects in catcher Sandro Gaston and right-hander pitcher Roger Benavides, as reported by Francys Romero. This makes 18 Cubans now in or headed to the Astros’ system, which leads the major leagues as both deals are pending physicals.
While both prospects are Cuban-born, they have since defected and have attended Yuan Pino Academy in the Dominican Republic. Gaston, who is 18-years-old, is the brother of Sandy Gaston, who signed with the Tampa Bay Rays for $2.6 million. The right-hander has been identified with great command with his defensive tool, along with power and consistent contact.
For Benavides, the 20-year-old has been clocked at 91-96 MPH on his fastball and consistently hitting 92-93 MPH. Back in Cuba, the right-hander was a member of the U-18 National Team in 2017, as he left for the Dominican Republic a year later.
While these two were signed late into the signing period, their signing bonuses might not be as much as top prospects. Especially with the pool of money thinning for the ’21 signing period, they could be signing in the $10 thousand range even late into the year as well.
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After a late-game comeback from the rookie outfielders, the Astros took their three-game set from the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 7-6 win on Sunday. They return to action on Monday at 8:38 p.m. against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, as Framber Valdez battles right-hander Jaime Barría. Valdez’s finger looks ready for his start on Monday.
Kyle Tucker left Sunday’s contest with shoulder discomfort, as more has not been reported on his status.