January 15th marked the first day that young players from international markets can begin their journey toward the major leagues. The beginning of the International Signing Period, for many players, marks the end of a multi-year recruitment period by several major league clubs and important decision-making at the ages of just 16 or 17 years old in many cases.
Here is more information on the International Signing Period, according to Baseball America:
“While players routinely have agreements lined up to sign with clubs multiple years in advance, Jan. 15 is the first date when they can officially sign contracts. Just like draft picks or major league free agents, none of these agreements are official until a player has signed his contract, completed his physical and been approved by the commissioner’s office. Some players will sign their contracts today, while others who have agreements in place will sign their contracts later this week or after that in some cases. The signing period is open until Dec. 15, 2023.“
In recent years, the White Sox have used the International Signing Period to sign players such as Oscar Colas, Erick Hernandez, Bryan Ramos, Norge Vera, Christian Mena, and many others. Thus far, the White Sox – who have a bonus pool of $5.284M with which they can sign players to deals, have officially signed seven players.
- Luis Reyes, RHP, Dominican Republic ($700,000)
- Abraham Nuñez Jr., SS, Dominican Republic ($700,000)
- D’Angelo Tejada, SS, Dominican Republic ($350,000)
- Rafael Alvarez, OF, Cuba ($300,000)
- Juan Uribe Jr., SS, Dominican Republic ($200,000)
- Albert Alberto, OF, Dominican Republic ($50,000)
- Denny Lima, RHP, Dominican Republic ($10,000)
In their press release, the White Sox mentioned that they anticipate more signings to happen in the coming days. This would likely involve catcher Angelo Hernandez on a $500,000 deal, as has already been reported by multiple outlets.
While there isn’t a lot of information publicly available about all of these players, here is a little bit about each official signee. As more updates about this class become available, we will continue to make additions to this article.
Luis Reyes, RHP, Dominican Republic
MLB Pipeline Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Considered the best Dominican pitcher in the class and ranked 41st on MLB Pipeline’s list, Reyes is a 6’3, 175-pound right-handed pitcher who seems to be the best prospect the White Sox will land in this draft.
MLB Pipeline has the following to say about Reyes:
“The projectable Reyes has a loose arm, a plus fastball, and other pitches on the way. He’s sprouted up to 6-foot-3, also adding muscle in recent years, and it’s translated to more power and athleticism. His experience playing against competition in the United States in tournaments and the showcase circuit has also served him well. The result is a teen that is poised, competitive and does not get rattled.”
He has also been lauded for his mound presence and overall demeanor when he takes the ball, both qualities that impressed the White Sox while scouting him. Not surprisingly, he has also been praised for his makeup.
As you can see in the video below, Reyes also features some nice arm-side run on his fastball. With the White Sox doing pretty well internationally recently with signings such as Christian Mena and Norge Vera, it is no surprise that one of their highest bonuses in this international class is going to a pitcher. The projectability and potential are clearly there for Reyes, who will be an interesting player to watch this summer in the Dominican Summer League for the White Sox.
Reyes is also featured in other videos on the Miami Miracles Facebook page.
Abraham Nuñez Jr., SS, Dominican Republic
Nuñez Jr. is a left-handed hitting shortstop and son of former major leaguer – and current minor league hitting coach – Abraham Nuñez. Nuñez Jr. is pretty active on his Instagram, detailing previous visits to the White Sox facility in the Dominican Republic as well as some highlights from his games.
He features a very smooth left-handed swing and a lineage that shows plenty of projectability in terms of size and potential. He, like most players in this international period, will likely be playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2023.
For what it’s worth, he already has a pretty strong bat flip game, too.
Rafael Álvarez, OF, Cuba
A right-handed hitting outfielder out of Cuba, Álvarez has received high praise for his plate discipline at a young age. James Fox of FutureSox has noted that the approximate $300K signing bonus is in line with current White Sox 3B Bryan Ramos, if you’re looking for a current comp in terms of how the team may view Álvarez’s talent.
Álvarez batted .366/.505/.662 with the Cuban National Team U15 club in 2020. He hit three homers with six doubles, and three triples while driving in 24 runs.
Angelo Hernandez, C, Venezuela
Unfortunately, not much information is publicly available on Hernandez beyond his position and birthplace. As more information becomes available, we will continue to provide updates.
Juan Uribe Jr., SS, Dominican Republic
The son of former White Sox SS Juan Uribe, Uribe Jr. has been connected to the White Sox for quite some time. While there isn’t much known about his player profile, in some of the videos below, the connection to his father defensively is clearly there.
Uribe Jr. has been active on his Instagram and has been proudly promoting the black and white for a while.
Per the White Sox press release, here is additional information on Denny Lima, D’Angelo Tejada, and Albert Alberto.
“Tejada, 17, is a native of Villa Vázquez, Dominican Republic. The 6-foot, 160-pound shortstop bats and throws right-handed.”
“Alberto, 16, is a native of Nizao, Dominican Republic. The 6-for-3, 200-pound outfielder bats and throws right-handed.”
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Featured Image: White Sox / Twitter