Astros sign nine international prospects
The 2023 MLB international signing period is open and the Astros wasted little time, signing nine prospects.
The nine are OF Eduardo Pérez, OF Esmil Valencia, SS Camilo Diaz, SS German Ramirez, RHP Rafael Gonzalez, RHP Eudy Liriano, RHP Joan Ogando, IF Sandro Pereira and OF Juan Sierra. Diaz, Ramirez and Valencia are the prizes of the class. Diaz is ranked 17th on the Top 50 International Prospects list while Valencia ranks 21st. All three are in Baseball America's Top 30 International prospects.
In the recent 2023 MLB Pipeline Poll, the Astros tied for the winners in the category of "Which team plays the international market better than any other?"
"The Astros play the international market well and are exceptional at finding bargains there. Just look at their 2022 World Series roster for proof: Jose Altuve ($15,000 signing bonus), Framber Valdez ($10,000), Luis Garcia ($20,000) and Cristian Javier ($10,000)."- MLB.com
Terms aren't known for all of the prospects, but Diaz signed for $2.25 million and Valencia inked his deal for $1.1 million.
The scouting report on Diaz is plus bat speed with a solid approach and recognition. His prospect profile on MLB.com says he has the chance to develop into a special hitter. Though a shortstop now, he could move over to third base down the line.
Valencia received a 55 hit grade with 50 power. He can play all thre outfield spots, but according to his profile, is believed to hit well enough that he will command playing time at whatever outfield spot is open.
The 16-year old Ramirex signed for $1.2 million and is revered for his bat speed and athletic build. Their last two shortstops with athletic builds have worked out quite well...
No prospect is a sure thing. Of these nine signed, maybe only a few reach the big league club.
Maybe one of the top-30 prospects becomes an all-star. Maybe one of the lesser heralded signings is a late bloomer and turns into the next Framber Valdez. Either way, the Astros success in the international market and proven player development should give hope that they will get the most out of their signings.