Behind the scenes with Tomas

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — If Yasmany Tomas is nervous about this weekend’s showcase, he doesn’t show it. What is clearly on display is his size — he’s every bit of the 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds that he is listed as — and his youthful enthusiasm. The 23-year-old is already having a ball, and he’s ready for the next phase of his career.











DPL Showcase in the DR, top prospects and Fake Fern

SAN CRISTOBAL, Dominican Republic — This is Fernando Tatis.


This is not.

FakeFernI had a chance to catch up with the former Major Leaguer during a rain delay at the 2015 Dominican Prospect League Showcase at Tesmistocles Metz stadium and boy, was it entertaining.

It appears imitation is not the greatest form of flattery to Tatis and he wants the Fake Fernando to stop pretending to be him. It was funny at first, Tatis said, but now it’s not. Well, it still kind of is, but it’s really kind of not, he says.

“I had people saying they had conversations with me on Twitter and even some reporters from New York would say they talked to me on Twitter,” Tatis said with a smile. “Some of those things he wrote were pretty stupid and I was like ‘What is that?’ People who know me could tell it was fake and I would never do that. I have to get on Twitter because of that guy. He was crazy. No, I’m not mad, but I don’t think anybody would like that stuff.”

There was a real reason why Tatis was sitting in the stands.

Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., 15, was one of 100 prospects to participate in the first day of the DPL Showcase on Monday. More than 100 more are expected to participate in workouts on Tuesday. Games between the prospects are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The prospects are expected to be eligible to sign when next year’s international signing period begins on July 2.

“My son is so much more advanced at his age than I was and he’s going to be a way better player than I was,” Tatis said. “He’s smart and he has a lot more instruction than I did, too. He picks things up quick, a lot faster than I did. He’s coming fast.”

Monday’s workout started with a 60-yard dash, infield and outfield practice and concluded with batting practice for 50 prospects. The second group of 50 prospects had their afternoon workout cut short because of rain.

The Indians were the only team that did not have a presence at the event, according to DPL officials.

“It’s fun, but it’s the first day and they are getting some nerves out,” said Ulises Cabrera, co-founder of DPL. “Overall, it was a good day. The kids have done their part and I think scouts are intrigued by what they see.”

These are a few of the many players to watch this week:

Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, 6-ft-1, 175 pounds

Franklin Reyes, OF, 6-ft-4, 190 pounds

Rafi Ozuna, SS, 6-ft-2, 170 pounds

Carlos Vargas, SS, 6-ft-3, 170 pounds

Jeison De La Cruz, OF, 6-ft-2, 190 pounds

Rafioly Urena, OF, 6-ft-4, 200 pounds

Wander Javier, SS, 6-ft-1, 165 pounds

Onil Cruz, SS, 6-ft-1, 145 pounds

Welin Liriano, SS, 5-ft-10, 160 pounds

Maykel Rabsatt, 3B, 6-ft-2, 185

Here are a few more photos from Monday:



Yasmany Tomas cleared by OFAC, tentative showcase

Yasmany Tomas takes BP in the DR

Tomas takes batting practice in the Dominican Republic.

Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas has taken another step toward fulfilling his Major League dream.

The 24-year old corner outfielder has been unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and is waiting to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, according to an industry source.
A showcase for the 6-ft-2, 240-pound Tomas is tentatively scheduled for the end of next week in the Dominican Republic.
The next top Cuban prospect is expected to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Rusney Castillo, who recently signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox, Jose Abreu, who signed a six-year, $68 million dollar contract with the White Sox, and Yasiel Puig, who signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Dodgers.

Tomas cannot enter into an agreement with a team until he has been declared a free agent.
Here’s what we know: Tomas is known for his power and he has a reputation for launching long home runs, but he’s also prone to big swing and misses. He’s agile for his size, and he has a strong arm, but there is room for improvement on defense. As a result, he’s characterized as “high-risk, high-reward” type of player in some international scouting circles. He is said to be in much better physical shape and has worked on his approach at the plate since leaving the island.

Tomas has some experience as a member of Cuba’s international team, including the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also played five seasons for the Havana Industriales in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, which means he will not be subjected to the international signing guidelines when he becomes eligible to sign.

Overall, Tomas hit 30 home runs with 104 RBI in 205 regular season games for the Industriales starting in 2008. He never played more than 69 games during the Serie Nacional’s 90-game regular season and did not play during the 2010-2011 season.
Tomas defected from Cuba in June and later established residency in Haiti.

Private workouts set for Rusney Castillo

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo chats with his family in Cuba after Saturday's showcase.

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo chats with his family in Cuba after Saturday’s showcase.

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo put on a show during his tryout in front of Major League scouts and executives on Saturday in Miami and now teams want to see him one-on-one.

Castillo will participate in a private workout for the Phillies on Tuesday and the Red Sox on Friday, according to industry sources. The Yankees have also shown serious interest in the 27-year-old.

These tryouts come a few days after the 5-foot-9, 200-pound right-handed hitter ran the 60-yard dash, participated in live batting practice, threw from the outfield, and fielded grounders at shortstop in front of representatives from 28 of 30 teams at the University of Miami.

Here’s what we know about Castillo: He is known for his speed and considered a line-drive hitter with power. Scouts have also praised his athleticism. He’ll likely start the season in the Minor Leagues once he signs, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season and compete for a starting job in Spring Training.

Castillo, who left Cuba six months ago, established residency in Haiti and was cleared by the U.S. government to sign with a team earlier this month.  He is represented by Roc Nation Sports, a joint venture between Roc Nation and CAA Sports,

Rusney Castillo Showcase

There were 28 of 30 teams represented at the showcase for Cuban prospect Rusney Castillo on Saturday in Miami, a group that included several international scouting directors and Special Assistants:




Rusney Castillo linked to Cubs, White Sox, others

Cuban outfield prospect Rusney Castillo has been compared to Brett Gardner.

Others see him as a player similar to Jacoby Ellsbury. One scout compared him to Kenny Lofton.

What’s certain is the 27-year-old prospect is training in Florida, he’s ready to sign and will likely join a Major League team soon after his showcase on July 26 at the University of Miami. Castillo, who left Cuba six months ago, established residency in Haiti and was cleared by the U.S. Government to sign with a team last week. The 5-ft-9, 185 pound outfielder has also been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.

The Cubs, White Sox, Braves, Red Sox, and Giants are among the team to have expressed interest in Castillo, according to industry sources, but scouts and front office executives from every team are expected at his workout next weekend.

Here’s what we know: Castillo is a right-handed hitter with power, has plus-plus speed and is viewed by some as a line-drive hitter. Scouts also like his athleticism. He’ll have to start the season in the Minor Leagues, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job in Spring Training.

Castillo is represented by Roc Nation Sports, a joint venture between Roc Nation and CAA Sports.

Pirates sign seven 16-year-olds on July 2

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a busy day on Wednesday, signing  seven 16-year-olds on the first day to sign international free agents. These are the players:


Center fielder Yondry Contreras (Dominican Republic) for $400,000.

Left-handed pitcher Domingo Robles (Dominican Republic) for $175,000

Right-handed pitcher Jerry De Lo Santos (Dominican Republic) $100,000

Shortstop Christopher Perez (Dominican Republic) $150,000

Catcher Gabriel Brito (Dominican Republic) $200,000

Right-handed pitcher Brian Souse (Panama) $160,000

Left-handed pitcher Roger Santana (Dominican Republic) $100,000







Cuban INF prospect Yoan Moncada has left the island

yoanCubaA top prospect from Cuba has left the island and is poised to shake up the international signing period that starts Wednesday.

Yoan Moncada, 19, a switch-hitting infielder from the Cuban city of Cienfuegos, left the country legally earlier this month and is seeking residency in a country outside of the United States, the first step to becoming eligible for free agency, according to an industry source. Once Moncada establishes residency, the teenager must petition Major League Baseball for free agency and be unblocked by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before he can come into a final agreement with a club.

While many Cuban players are known to leave the island in late-night escapes or defect from the Cuban national team during an international tournament, the 6-ft-2, 205-pound Moncada was a granted his release from his Serie Nacional Cienfuegos team earlier this year and cleared by Cuba’s National Baseball Commission. He was granted a visa and a passport by the Cuban government and left on an airplane.

He is believed to be in the Dominican Republic or Mexico.

Moncada is expected to sign this year and will be subjected to the international signing guidelines because he is under 23 and has not playedyoanbats in a Cuban professional league for five or more seasons. The 2014-2015 international signing period officially starts on Wednesday but several agreements have been in place for several months.

Moncada, who also plays shortstop and third base, starred for Cuba’s top team of 15-and 16-year-olds and made a name for himself at the U-16 IBAF World Baseball Championships in Mexico.

He made his debut for Cienfuegos at age 17 and hit .277 in 367 during parts of two seasons and played alongside White Sox slugger Jose Abreu and Dodgers’ infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena.

Moncada was also teammates with Abreu, Arruebarrena, and other notable Cuban players like Yulieski Gourriel, Alfredo Despaigne, and Jose Miguel Fernandez on Cuba’s national team during the 2013 World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Raisel Iglesias, who recently signed a seven-year, $27 million deal with the Reds, was also one of Moncada’s teammates.

Additionally, Moncada was on Cuba’s preliminary roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

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Penalties for clubs exceeding international bonus pools

Each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team’s record in 2013, a figure ranging from $5,015,400 for the Astros, who had the Majors’ lowest winning percentage last year, to $1,866,300 for the Cardinals, who had the highest winning percentage.

The signing bonus pools are made up of four slot values.


Teams that exceed the pools by 10 to 15 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.


In the most severe penalty, teams that exceed the pool by 15 percent or more are not allowed to sign a player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods in addition to paying a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.


Teams that exceed the pools by 0 to 5 percent have to pay 100 percent tax and teams that exceed the pools by 5 to 10 percent are not allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the next signing period and have to pay a 100-percent tax on the pool overage.

Slot values for July 2 international signing period

Each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team’s record in 2013, a figure ranging from $5,015,400 for the Astros, who had the Majors’ lowest winning percentage last year, to $1,866,300 for the Cardinals, who had the highest winning percentage.

The signing bonus pools are made up of four slot values listed below. Clubs can acquire an additional 50 percent of their international bonus pool money by trading for slots.


1                              Astros              $3,300,900

2                              Marlins         $2,921,600

3                              White Sox     $2,585,800

4                              Cubs             $2,288,700

5                              Twins            $2,025,800

6                              Mariners        $1,792,900

7                              Phillies          $1,586,900

8                              Rockies        $1,404,500

9                              Blue Jays      $1,243,100

10                           Mets              $1,100,300

11                           Brewers         $1,026,600

12                           Padres           $957,900

13                           Giants            $893,800

14                           Angels            $833,900

15                           D-backs          $778,000

16                           Orioles            $726,000

17                           Yankees          $677,400

18                           Royals            $631,900

19                           Nationals         $589,600

20                           Reds               $550,100

21                           Rangers          $543,000

22                           Rays               $535,900

23                           Indians            $528,900

24                           Dodgers          $522,100

25                           Tigers             $515,300

26                           Pirates            $508,600

27                           Athletics          $501,900

28                           Braves            $495,400

29                           Red Sox          $488,900

30                           Cardinals        $482,700

31                           Astros             $476,300

32                           Marlins            $470,100

33                           White Sox        $464,100

34                           Cubs               $458,000

35                           Twins               $452,100

36                           Mariners          $446,200

37                           Phillies            $440,300

38                           Rockies           $434,600

39                           Blue Jays        $429,000

40                           Mets               $423,400

41                           Brewers          $417,800

42                           Padres           $412,500

43                           Giants            $407,100

44                           Angels           $401,800

45                           D-backs         $396,700

46                           Orioles           $391,500

47                           Yankees         $386,300

48                           Royals           $381,300

49                           Nationals       $376,500

50                           Reds             $371,500

51                           Rangers        $366,600

52                           Rays              $361,900

53                           Indians           $357,100

54                           Dodgers         $352,600

55                           Tigers             $347,900

56                           Pirates           $343,400

57                           Athletics         $339,000

58                           Braves           $334,600

59                           Red Sox         $330,200

60                           Cardinals       $325,900

61                           Astros            $321,600

62                           Marlins           $317,500

63                           White Sox       $313,400

64                           Cubs              $309,300

65                           Twins              $305,200

66                           Mariners         $301,300

67                           Phillies            $297,400

68                           Rockies          $293,500

69                           Blue Jays       $289,700

70                           Mets               $286,000

71                           Brewers         $282,200

72                           Padres           $278,500

73                           Giants            $274,900

74                           Angels           $271,300

75                           D-backs         $267,900

76                           Orioles           $264,300

77                           Yankees         $260,800

78                           Royals            $257,500

79                           Nationals         $254,100

80                           Reds               $250,900

81                           Rangers          $247,600

82                           Rays                $244,400

83                           Indians             $241,200

84                           Dodgers           $238,000

85                           Tigers               $234,900

86                           Pirates              $232,000

87                           Athletics            $228,900

88                           Braves              $225,900

89                           Red Sox            $222,900

90                           Cardinals          $220,100

91                           Astros               $216,600

92                           Marlins              $213,200

93                           White Sox          $209,900

94                           Cubs                 $206,700

95                           Twins                 $203,500

96                           Mariners            $200,300

97                           Phillies               $197,200

98                           Rockies             $194,100

99                           Blue Jays          $191,100

100                         Mets                  $188,100

101                         Brewers             $185,200

102                         Padres              $182,300

103                         Giants               $179,500

104                         Angels               $176,700

105                         D-backs             $174,000

106                         Orioles               $171,300

107                         Yankees             $168,600

108                         Royals                $166,100

109                         Nationals            $163,400

110                         Reds                   $160,900

111                         Rangers              $158,300

112                         Rays                   $155,900

113                         Indians                $153,500

114                         Dodgers              $151,100

115                         Tigers                  $148,800

116                         Pirates                 $146,400

117                         Athletics               $144,100

118                         Braves                 $142,000

119                         Red Sox               $139,700

120                         Cardinals             $137,600


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