Phillies

Phillies

The Phillies’ current 25-man roster features seven graduates of the organization’s Latin American program.
 
On Saturday, the club will add more than a dozen new Latin American prospects when the international signing period for 16-year-old players begins.
 
These players are expected to spend at least a year, and in most cases more, in the Dominican Summer League before the team determines if they are worthy of advancing to one of its minor-league teams in the U.S.
 
Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez, Hector Neris, Carlos Ruiz, Severino Gonzalez and Edubray Ramos, all currently on the Phils’ active roster, are all homegrown products of the organization’s scouting development program in Latin America.
 
According to multiple baseball sources, this year’s group of Phillies’ Latin American signings features five standout prospects from Venezuela. Three of the players were rated in the top 50 in Latin America by Baseball America. Here are the top-five players, all 16-year-olds, that the Phillies will sign:
 
Francisco Morales, P, Venezuela – A 6-5 right-hander with a plus slider and a fastball that ranges from 91-95 mph. Ranked 12th by Baseball America.
 
Bryan Gonzalez, SS, 2B, Venezuela – The strong-armed switch-hitter has a line-drive stroke and reminds some of Placido Polanco. Ranked 19th by Baseball America.
 
Nicolas Torres, SS, Venezuela – Leadoff-type hitter with good wheels. Ranked 45th by Baseball America.
 
Juan Aparicio, C, Venezuela – He played third base in national competition, but is changing positions and projects as an offensive-type catcher. He was ranked 47th by Baseball America.
 
Jose Tortolero, SS, Venezuela – He shows an average big-league arm and has excellent hitting tools.