Mar 1, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies outfielder C. Gonzalez poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies made a splash with a few notable international signings on Thursday, picking up a shortstop from Panama and an outfielder from Venezuela.
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The Colorado Rockies have been active once again in 2015 with signing international prospects, dipping into Panama and Venezuela in the last two days to sign a shortstop and an outfielder.
Combined, both prospects (Enrique Saldana and Daniel Montano) commanded a total of $2,500,000 in signing bonus money, and as young as both are, it’ll be a few years before we see them in the full season American minor leagues, let alone Denver, but international signings are yet another area the Rox have excelled at over the recent history of their franchise (think Raimel Tapia, Cristhian Adames, Jhoulys Chacin, Ubaldo Jimenez, and many more).
Here’s a little more on each prospect signed this week, beginning with Panamanian shortstop Enrique Saldana, who signed for $500,000:
"Saldana just turned 16 last week, so he’s on the younger end of this year’s signing class. At 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, Saldana doesn’t have the physical tools of some of the stronger shortstops in this year’s class, but he earns praise for his high baseball IQ and instincts for the game, showing some feel to hit from the right side, with gap power. He’e a below-average runner now but has a chance to stay at shortstop. He played for Panama in the 15U World Championships in Mexico last year, when he batted .333/.371/.424 in 33 at-bats. Saldana trained with German Gil."
Then, Venezuelan outfielder Daniel Montano signed with the Rockies for a cool $2,000,000:
"Scouts love Montano’s lean, athletic body. The 6-foot-1, 178-pound teen is a natural left-handed hitter with a fluid stroke and a good approach in games. He has also shown some power, and he’s expected to get stronger as he grows. On defense, Montano has enough arm strength to play his primary position in center field. He has been praised for his ability to read balls off the bat and for his defensive instincts.Montano does have some experience playing in the infield, particularly at second base, but his future will be in the outfield."
After a strong draft in early June, it’s good to see the Rockies making waves in the international period, too. Obviously, considering these players’ ages and experience, it’s a very long road to America and the big leagues, but it looks like the Rockies have two very projectable, good young baseball players.