LOS ANGELES – The long-awaited signing of teenage slugging prospect Jhailyn Ortiz has become official. The Phillies announced the signing Thursday night.
The Phillies had a verbal agreement with Ortiz for months. The 16-year-old first baseman/outfielder from the Dominican Republic stands 6-2 and weighs 260 pounds. Ortiz has huge power, but needs to improve as a hitter. In particular, he needs to make more contact and improve his recognition of off-speed pitches. But that can be said of most 16 year olds.
Ortiz received a signing bonus of just over $4 million, sources said. That puts the Phillies over their Major League Baseball-mandated allotment of $3,041,700 for this international signing period. Teams that go over their allotment face penalties ranging from a tax to forfeiting the ability to sign top players in future signing periods. The Phillies are expected to avoid any penalty after acquiring about $1.5 million in international slot money from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor-league pitchers Chris Oliver and Josh Taylor last weekend.
Ortiz will need plenty of development time. He will likely get into game action at the Phillies’ academy in the Dominican Republic and participate in the team’s Instructional League program in the fall as he gets his pro career started.
The Phillies also announced the signings of Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan and infielder Kuedy Bocio and pitcher Manuel Silva, both of the Dominican Republic. All these players are 16. The signing period for international players of this age began on July 2.