International Signing day finally came, and the Cubs made some big moves on Monday, signing five prospects from outside the country, three of which are ranked in MLB.com’s Top-30.
The Cubs started out by grabbing the No. 5 overall prospect, right-hander Richard Gallardo for $1 million out of Venezuela. Gallardo was the top pitching prospect in the list, as the Cubs continue to pursue pitchers for their farm system. For Gallardo, the Cubs got a guy that’s projected to be a top-of-the-rotation type of pitcher if healthy and continues to develop. He’s fearless on the mound with his best pitch being a fastball as well as a strong curveball.
Additionally, the Cubs added the No. 17 overall prospect, outfielder Jose Lopez for $1.5 million from the Dominican Republic. Lopez is a plus athlete with running as a strength as well as being a contact hitter. He’s expected to stay at center field as a former youth league star in the Dominican Republic.
No. 28 overall prospect, lefty Joel Machado was also snagged by the Cubs for $850,000 also from Venezuela. Machado has grown several inches over the last few years, increasing the velocity on his fastball. His best pitch ranges from 89-90 mph also with a solid changeup and dependable curveball.
The Cubs also got shortstop Rafael Morel from the Dominican Republic for $850,000 and outfielder Yohendrick Pinango from Venezuela for $400,000. There’s nothing on Morel yet, but Pinango has great potential from what we do know. Pinango is a very physical athlete that can hit and run well. He’s also a centerfielder like Jose Lopez and has impressed with his bat.
Just to put International Signing Day in perspective, the Cubs got both Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres on this annual day. There’s a great chance these guys could turn into stars in little time. It appears for the Cubs signees on Monday that most are just young teenagers, still years away from a full season.