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Thread: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    This is great to hear. You never heard of the previous regime attempting to sign any big time prospects on the international market. Hopefully they can start tapping into the talent down there and find some of the Cabrera's and Liriano's and Felix Hernandez's.

    Pursuing Pena

    The Marlins met with 16-year-old Dominican catcher Francisco Pena in New York over the weekend.

    Pena, the youngest son of Yankees coach Tony Pena, is considered among the top amateurs on the international market. The Yankees, Mets, Nationals and Reds have been the most aggressive. The international signing period opens Sunday. ...

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/s...orts-headlines
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 06-29-2006 at 08:14 AM.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    Tidbits on him. Highly doubtful he signs with the Reds considering his dad coaches for the Yanks, but still you gotta love the fact that the Reds are in on him.



    Francisco Pena was taking a few cuts in the batting cage at Yankee Stadium recently, working with his father, Tony, the Yanks' first-base coach. Alex Rodriguez watched, impressed with the kid's powerful swing.

    "Alex asked, 'How old is he? 20?'" Tony Pena said. "I said, 'No, he's only 16.'

    "Alex said, 'Wow.'"

    A-Rod isn't the only baseball bigwig noticing Tony Pena's son these days. Francisco Pena is a hot international free agent who interests both the Yankees and Mets - Met GM Omar Minaya has scouted him - and scouts say Pena would be a first-round pick if he were part of Tuesday's amateur draft.

    -----

    Francisco Pena got noticed for all the wrong reasons a few years ago when he was Danny Almonte's catcher during the Little League scandal. Francisco had his own eligibility issues, though not because of his age, but because he lives in the Dominican Republic, the Penas' year-round home.

    Now baseball people are talking only about his skills and size (6-2, 200 pounds). "He has a chance to be an everyday catcher in the majors," said Junior Noboa, the Diamondbacks' director of Latin American operations. "He could hit 30-plus home runs. If he were in the States, he'd be a first-round pick."

    The Yankees worked him out this spring, and other teams will get a closer look once his high school exams are done next week, said Leo Mercedes, one of his agents.

    Francisco is only a junior, but even his father doesn't think he will be around for his senior year - Francisco can agree to a deal July 2, the signing date for 16-year-old international amateurs.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/st...p-356998c.html
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    That is great news that the Reds are interested. I think the Yankees would have to be considered major frontrunners, as Tony Pena is their 1st base coach.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    Quote Originally Posted by NJReds
    I think the Yankees would have to be considered major frontrunners, as Tony Pena is their 1st base coach.
    Not to mention the Yankees have a history of shelling out whatever it takes to sign an international free agent that they really want.

    There is a 99.9% chance that Pena signs with the Yankees. Everyone else is fighting over that 0.1% and, perhaps more importantly, trying to get to know the kid a little bit in hopes of working a trade for him two or three years down the road.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    I like hearing their name thrown around with guys like this. Hopefully this isn't that last time. This is one area where there has been a noticeable lack of effort from the previous FOs.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    in all honesty, this sounds like a dumb thing for the Reds to be a part of. We used money that we didn't have to outbid the Yankees for Alejandro Quezedo's rights, and it messed us up for years.

    be smart, don't pretend to be strong.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    yep -- great that the Reds are trying to be players -- as others have noted, though, the Yankees have to be nearly a prohibitive favorite to land him -- will be interesting to see if the Reds land anybody else for decent $$$
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    I wouldn't count out the Mets. Their success in landing players from the DR recently has been impressive.

    Plus, I'm hearing some pretty odd things about Steinbrenner's declining health and a not-so-small power play developing within the Yanks FO.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    ROYAL BLOODLINES - The Reds are among the teams in the hunt to sign one of this year's hottest commodities in the Dominican Republic, 16-year-old catcher Francisco Pena.

    The son of former big-league catcher and manager Tony Pena, Francisco already checks in at 6 feet 2, 200 pounds and is coveted by several major league clubs. By MLB rule, Sunday is the first day he'll be eligible to sign, and the Reds believe they're solidly in the mix.

    "We've seen him several times, and he's been to our academy to work out," said Reds player development director Johnny Almaraz. "We definitely have an interest. We're going to pursue him aggressively and see what happens."

    Pena, who lives in Santiago, had one previous brush with fame beyond his father. In 2001, he was the catcher on the Bronx team that went to the Little League World Series but was stripped of its third-place finish after star pitcher Danny Almonte was found to be two years older than he had claimed.

    http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs....607010379/1027
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    All dyslexics must untie!
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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    Let the Yankees sign him, then trade 'em Claussen for him
    Last edited by gm; 07-01-2006 at 06:31 PM.
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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    From ESPN.com

    Catcher Montero is top available prospect
    By Enrique Rojas
    ESPNdeportes.com
    Archive


    Since 1965, major-league teams have relied on the amateur draft to find players who they hope will become stars in the near future.

    But the richest and cheapest source of talent can be found in the international market, especially in Latin America, and not in North American schools.

    That is why July 2, when teams are eligible to sign international players who will turn 17 years old before September, is such an important date. And this year's harvest of talent might be the best yet.


    "This year more organizations conserved part of their budget to go after the ballplayers that will be available in the international market."
    -- Dodgers scout Ezequiel Sepulveda

    "There's talent all over the place this year. I think that at least three players could get millionaire bonuses to become professional," said former major-leaguer Junior Noboa, now the Arizona Diamondbacks' scouting director in Latin America.

    Although major-league organizations invest millions of dollars searching for players in faraway places such as Australia and Asia, the best available talent resides in Dominican Republic and Venezuela once again.

    "Last year I searched Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Venezuela and Dominican Republic looking for players," said Felix Francisco, the Latin American scouting supervisor for the San Diego Padres. "By far this year's best players will be in Dominicana and Venezuela, as it has been all of these years."

    Puerto Rico, which participates in the amateur draft as part of the North American school system, and Cuba, which prohibited professionalism 40 years ago, are not among the scouts' options.

    Last year the New York Mets found within 24 hours two of the best available prospects: Dominican outfielder Fernando Martinez and Venezuelan veteran pitcher Deoly Guerra, who got $1.4 million and $600,000 in signing bonuses, respectively.

    "This year more organizations conserved part of their budget to go after the ballplayers that will be available in the international market. In the past, they used to spend all the money in the North American draft," said Dodgers scout Ezequiel Sepulveda, who is president of the Dominican Republic Scouts Association.

    ESPNdeportes.com polled at least a dozen Latin American scouts who agreed that Venezuelan catcher Jesus Montero is the most coveted international prospect available.

    Montero, 16, is a right-handed hitter with tremendous power who could be converted to first base in the pros. Most scouts believe Montero will get a signing bonus in the $1 million to $2 million range.

    Dominicans Engel Bletre (OF), Angel Villalona (3B), Moises Tejeda (SS), Francisco Pena and Esmeily Gonzalez (SS); Venezuelan pitchers Larry Suarez and Euclides Viloria and Australian Jason Smit are the other players who could get better offers.

    "One never knows what each organization is thinking, but as far as San Diego, we think Montero, Beltre, Villalona and Tejeda are the best of the group," said Francisco.

    Hottest prospects

    1. Jesus Montero, C, Venezuela (16 years old)
    He can hit with power to all fields. He has powerful arms, though he will probably end up playing first base.

    2. Engel Beltre, OF, Dominicana (16)
    A left-handed hitter with extra-base power. He has a powerful throwing arm and plays great defense in the outfield. There's a rumor that he has a verbal agreement with the Boston Red Sox.

    3. Angel Villalona, 3B, Dominicana (16)
    A five-tool player (hits for average, hits for power, has speed, fields well and has a good arm). Villalona is 6-foot-2 and weighs 200 pounds.

    4. Moises Tejeda, SS, Dominicana (16)
    He could be the most athletic of them all. He's a stunning pitcher, a great runner and a good hitter.

    5. Larry Suarez, RHP, Venezuela (17)
    A tall pitcher (6-3) with an explosive fastball. The right-hander hasn't had a big show this year. He is believed to have a preliminary agreement with the Chicago Cubs.

    6. Euclides Viloria, LHP, Venezuela (16)
    Sort of like Johan Santana but with less power. Viloria has a great combination of pitches, with a curveball and a changeup, and his fastball varies between 88 and 91 mph.

    7. Esmeily Gonzalez, SS, Dominicana (16)
    A great player who can hit from both sides of the plate. Because of his size, good defense and powerful arm, he's compared to Rafael Furcal.

    8. Carlos Triunfel, SS, Dominicana (16)
    Somewhat similar to Miguel Tejada when he was signed. He has great power and knows how to hit. Scouts say "he bounces the ball off the bat."

    9. Balbino Fuenmayor, 3B, Venezuela (16)
    An athlete. He's 6-3, has soft hands, but above all things is a great hitter. He has a very good temperament and a willingness to learn.

    10. Jason Smit, SS, Australia (16)
    Smit is a very disciplined and intelligent player. He's got unlimited power but doesn't fan bad pitches and defensively makes all the ordinary plays.

    11. Francisco Pena, C, Dominicana (16)
    The son of ex-catcher Tony Pena is considered a great prospect because of his bat. There are rumors that he has shortened his list of favorite teams to the Yankees, Mets and Braves.

    Other prospects: Dominicana (Freddy Galvis, SS; Ramon Mota, OF; Jose Toussaint, SS; Moises Montero) and Venezuela (Font Wilmont, RHP; Ricardo Ferrer, RHP; Danny Salazar, RHP; Joel Romero, RHP; Fabian Jedron, LHP).

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=2505742

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    Per articles posted on SOSh, the Red Sox signed Beltre and Tejada over the weekend.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    I'd like to see the Reds get Pena, that'll show me something.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    I would love to have Suarez or Viloria.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Reds pursuing Francisco Pena, one of top players on the international market

    The New York Yankees paid a $2 million signing bonus to Venezuelan catcher Jesus Montero on Sunday, a busy day for the best Latin American prospects.

    Dominican shortstop Esmaily Gonzalez received $1.4 million from the Washington Nationals and at least five more deals were signed Sunday, the first day international prospects who turn 17 before September become available to sign with professional teams.

    Jesus Montero
    ESPNdeportes.com
    Venezuelan catcher Jesus Montero signs his deal with the Yankees on Sunday.

    The Dominican Republic and Venezuela are the two main sources of international talent, and the biggest bonus babies were once again from these two Latin American baseball powerhouses.

    Montero, a right-handed power hitter, received the highest signing bonus for a Venezuelan signing his first professional contract. Carlos Rios, the Yankees' scout coordinator in Latin America, announced Montero's signing in a press conference in Venezuela.

    "His main assets are his bat and his great arm, but Montero has the complete package and even George Steinbrenner got excited," Rios told Líder newspaper.

    "Playing for the Yankees is a privilege," said Montero.

    While the Yankees took the lead in Venezuela, the Red Sox signed two Dominican prospects at the same time. Boston paid $600,000 to outfielder Angel Beltre and $550,000 to slugger Moises Tejeda.

    "We believed they could have an impact in baseball soon," Boston GM Theo Epstein told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday.

    Epstein did not confirm the amounts given to the players, but Red Sox representatives in the Dominican Republic called a news conference to introduce Beltre and reported that he received the highest signing bonus for a player born on the island.

    Gonzalez, a switch-hitter, was introduced by Nationals manager Frank Robinson at a press conference in Washington on Sunday.

    "This is a very important signing. Now we are competing for the best prospects in Latin America," said Nationals president Stan Kasten.

    Washington's scouts believe Gonzalez, 16, could combine Ozzie Smith's defense with Miguel Tejada's hitting skills, a somewhat optimistic projection.

    ESPNdeportes.com learned that Venezuelan third baseman Balbino Fuenmayor reached an agreement with Cleveland for a bonus of around $1 million.

    Venezuelan pitchers Larry Suarez ($350,000) and Ricardo Ferrer ($290,000) signed with the Cubs and the Mariners, respectively, while others are still in negotiations.

    The most notable among players who have yet to sign is Dominican catcher Francisco Peña, son of Yankees coach and former major-leaguer Tony Peña. The younger Peña, 16, visited with several teams, including the Mets, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland and Washington.

    "We haven't reach an agreement with anybody," said Leo Mercedes, one of Pena's agents.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton


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