By Nick Tricome
The Phillies made another splash in the international market on Friday, adding a Dominican third baseman to the club's system.
Oh yeah, and he's only 16.
The Phillies signed Luis Encarnacion, who is considered the fourth best international prospect by Baseball America.
Here is a quick scouting report from Baseball America:
"Encarnacion, the No. 4 international prospect for July 2, is one of the top hitters in Latin America. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Encarnacion has a track record of hitting in games with plus raw power from the right side. His value is entirely in his offense, as he projects to move to left field or first base. Encarnacion trains with Juan Herrera, who is known as “Mon,” and plays in the International Prospect League."Encarnacion became eligible to sign with a team when he turned 16 at midnight, last night. The Phillies were quick to get him under wraps, offering him a $1 million signing bonus.
It will be a while before Encarncaion even has a shot at earning a spot on the Phillies' roster, yes, because he is still 16, but also because the club currently has a lot of depth at third base.
Cody Asche is already up and playing for the Phillies now, while prospects like Maikel Franco (Double-A Reading) and Mitch Walding (Class-A Full Lakewood) await in the minors.
Encarnacion is the second high-profile move the Phillies have made on the international market. They were also reported to have signed highly-touted Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez at the end of July, but the status of that deal is up in the air, as talks between the two sides have reportedly stalled.
(Image from Baseball America via Google Plus)