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Thread: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

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    Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Reds investing heavily in Latin players
    Guillon latest signing as part of team's aggressive strategy

    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
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    CINCINNATI -- The Reds have spent years watching other clubs use their financial and scouting muscles to pluck the best and brightest young prospects out of Latin America.

    This year, however, it's been Cincinnati doing some impressive flexing.

    Last week, the Reds signed hotly pursued 16-year-old left-handed pitcher Ismael Guillon out of Venezuela. He received a $625,000 signing bonus.

    It wasn't even close to the highest amount of money the Reds have doled out to Latin teenagers this year. This past summer, they gave outfielder Juan Duran a $2 million bonus to sign and outfielder Yorman Rodriguez received $2.5 million. Like Guillon, both players were 16 years old at the time of their signings, but Duran and Rodriguez hail from the Dominican Republic.

    The moves have been part of an aggressive organizational strategy.

    "One, we knew going into the June Draft that we'd be missing a second-round pick as compensation for signing [closer] Francisco Cordero," Reds senior scouting director Chris Buckley said. "We tried to be creative and come up with that pick some other way. Ownership was behind this program and supported it and came up with the money, so we got them."

    Giving out six- and seven-figure dollars to kids barely old enough to drive a car poses considerable risk. Just like players taken in the First-Year Player Draft for less money, it's possible that none of these three big-bonus players will ever play an inning in the Majors.

    "Anything is risky with any guys," Buckley said. "[Giving millions to 2008 first-round pick] Yonder Alonso was a risk. We're in the acquisition business. But we had five or six people see these guys. We're trying to add talent as much as we can."

    Several of the organization's scouts had followed Guillon all summer, but he held off signing on the July 2 international signing date. In September, Buckley said he and international scout Tony Arias went to Venezuela to watch Guillon play. Although he is a good hitter who plays first base, the Reds were most interested in his pitching ability.

    Guillon, who is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, reportedly throws an 88-92-mph fastball.

    "Left-handed pitching is the ultimate commodity in this game," Buckley said. "He's going to get bigger and stronger. A number of teams were in there. We followed him all year and hoped the market would come down a bit. He still signed for quite a lot of money."

    It's possible that Guillon, Duran and Rodriguez could be playing rookie-level ball in the Gulf Coast League next season. Duran and Rodriguez came to Sarasota, Fla., this fall and participated in the instructional league.

    Duran is currently playing in the Dominican instructional league, while Guillon and Rodriguez are playing winter ball in Venezuela.

    Despite the recent big-ticket signing, don't expect the Reds to tighten the purse strings in Latin America. Buckley said the strategy will continue. The organization has tried to ramp up efforts with its Asian scouting, but it has not yielded any signings, yet.

    "We're definitely trying to add international talent," Buckley said. "We're trying to build this thing from the bottom up and keep adding talent to the farm system."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Great article. It's been confirmed in a Venezuelan newspaper that Guillon turned down a $1.2 million offer from the Mets back in September. I knew he took less money to sign with the Reds because he's friends with Yorman Rodriguez but I didn't know it was *that* much. That's half of what the Mets offered him. He's a good sized kid at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds but there's still a little room for projection too. He sounds like a very good signing.

    I love the fact that the Reds are serious about being major players in the International scene. It sounds like the Reds plan on making this a yearly thing. I'm also glad to hear they're beefing up their efforts in Asia, too. I'm feeling very good about this organization right now and the direction they're headed in.
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    I don't know all that much about each player, but why all the love for Juan Duran instead of Yorman Rodriguez. Rodriguez got the higher bonus...?

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Duran would have gotten a much larger bonus if he had other suitors, but the Reds found a loop hole making them the only team negotiating with him, and gave him a reasonable offer which would allow him to start sooner.

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Great article. It's been confirmed in a Venezuelan newspaper that Guillon turned down a $1.2 million offer from the Mets back in September. I knew he took less money to sign with the Reds because he's friends with Yorman Rodriguez but I didn't know it was *that* much. That's half of what the Mets offered him. He's a good sized kid at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds but there's still a little room for projection too. He sounds like a very good signing.

    I love the fact that the Reds are serious about being major players in the International scene. It sounds like the Reds plan on making this a yearly thing. I'm also glad to hear they're beefing up their efforts in Asia, too. I'm feeling very good about this organization right now and the direction they're headed in.
    Im not as excited as you are about the Reds spending money in Latin America. I think it is a good idea but they have dropped a lot of coin to players that have substantial barriers to hurdle in order to make it to the bigs. Duran, Rodriguez, and Guillon are all 16 year olds. That is insanely young to be committing a lot of money to. That is similar to throwing money at high school sophomores in the states. Not to mention that they sill have social and language obstacles to over come in order to make it to the bigs.

    OTOH it is nice to see the Reds investing in an arena that they had stayed out of for years. If one of Rodriguez, Duran, or Guillon turn out to being a MLB or a MLB star then it was a great signing.

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by kheidg- View Post
    I don't know all that much about each player, but why all the love for Juan Duran instead of Yorman Rodriguez. Rodriguez got the higher bonus...?
    Mario Soto was quoted as saying Duran was expected to receive $4-5 million dollars had he chosen to sign after the July 2nd period began. Both are tremendous prospects. Michel Inoa was probably the top overall prospect but Duran and Yorman were the best position prospects available. Duran has drawn comparisons to guys like Vladimir Guerrero and Dave Winfield while Yorman draws comparisons to Eric Davis and Cesar Cedeno for his great athleticism and power/speed combo.
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    I like hearing about them trying to get into the Asian market as well. But it doesn't suprise me, if one paid attention the past yr or 2 one would have noticed that they are looking under every rock. It's pretty nice to not be at a major disadvantage at the very least. And to be a potential leader in the pursuit of international players makes me feel really good about the direction of this franchise.
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    I'd love to see them invest in South Africa. Not just the country, but the entire region. Talk about a world of untapped potential. There are a lot of athletes down there in need of quality instruction. Set up a baseball academy, sign a half dozen coaches willing to move to the other side of the world and reap the benefits. Even better would be a partnership with a few other clubs to form a league.

    The Reds have to think global, but they have to look to untapped markets where signing a 16 year old doesn't cost them 2.5 mil.
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Funny you should mention South Africa, TRF. The Pirates just signed an 18-year-old shortstop from South Africa a few days ago. His name is Mpho Ngoepe...below is an article on it:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08306...id=pirates.xml

    I'd like to see the Reds setup a baseball academy in Curacao. A guy over on Doug's site that knows Juan Carlos Sulbaran says he's trying to talk the Reds into setting up an academy down there. I think that would be a wise move. There are a lot of talented players starting to come from that area. One name to look for in about four years is Juremi Profar... He really stood out for the Curacao team in the Little League World Series. Orestes Destrade all but guaranteed he'll reach the majors someday.
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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Im not as excited as you are about the Reds spending money in Latin America. I think it is a good idea but they have dropped a lot of coin to players that have substantial barriers to hurdle in order to make it to the bigs. Duran, Rodriguez, and Guillon are all 16 year olds. That is insanely young to be committing a lot of money to. That is similar to throwing money at high school sophomores in the states. Not to mention that they sill have social and language obstacles to over come in order to make it to the bigs.

    OTOH it is nice to see the Reds investing in an arena that they had stayed out of for years. If one of Rodriguez, Duran, or Guillon turn out to being a MLB or a MLB star then it was a great signing.
    Naw. Its NOT a lot of money. It is a lot to you or to me, of course but the total spent signing prospects adds up to the equivalent of a one year salary for a decent utility player or middle reliever. If you can't put that much into international signings when that kind of talent is available then you shouldn't even be in the game. Baseball has reached the point financially where it is hard for middle class working people to keep amounts in perspective. A point where a middle of rotation starter barely better than league average will command ten million a year for 3 or 4 years. Heck I still remember clearly the Koufax-Drysdale holdout for a hundred grand and the stink that raised. Less than 20 years later the first million dollar a year player, And 20 years later - now - routine ten million a year contracts. And the players aren't robbing the owners or bankrupting the game, either - the money IS there. To compete in that kind of environment, if you're a small market player - then you had better be investing MORE than the big guys in the prospect arena - to win consistently you'll need a deep, continuous supply of good young players. The only way you can really get that edge (aside from making more astute picks in the regular draft) is internationally, where the regular draft rules don't apply and you can get a big advantage. I've posted before that the Reds need to keep doing this year after year - supplement the regular draft with several top international signings, and go way over slot to induce some supposedly college bound kids to sign that were passed for that reason. Both are ways to add the equivalent of multiple top 3-4 round picks to your regular draft each year.

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    I'd love to see them invest in South Africa. Not just the country, but the entire region. Talk about a world of untapped potential. There are a lot of athletes down there in need of quality instruction. Set up a baseball academy, sign a half dozen coaches willing to move to the other side of the world and reap the benefits. Even better would be a partnership with a few other clubs to form a league.

    The Reds have to think global, but they have to look to untapped markets where signing a 16 year old doesn't cost them 2.5 mil.
    If the kid is talented enough, its going to cost that much no matter where you are from.

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Naw. Its NOT a lot of money. It is a lot to you or to me, of course but the total spent signing prospects adds up to the equivalent of a one year salary for a decent utility player or middle reliever. If you can't put that much into international signings when that kind of talent is available then you shouldn't even be in the game. Baseball has reached the point financially where it is hard for middle class working people to keep amounts in perspective. A point where a middle of rotation starter barely better than league average will command ten million a year for 3 or 4 years. Heck I still remember clearly the Koufax-Drysdale holdout for a hundred grand and the stink that raised. Less than 20 years later the first million dollar a year player, And 20 years later - now - routine ten million a year contracts. And the players aren't robbing the owners or bankrupting the game, either - the money IS there. To compete in that kind of environment, if you're a small market player - then you had better be investing MORE than the big guys in the prospect arena - to win consistently you'll need a deep, continuous supply of good young players. The only way you can really get that edge (aside from making more astute picks in the regular draft) is internationally, where the regular draft rules don't apply and you can get a big advantage. I've posted before that the Reds need to keep doing this year after year - supplement the regular draft with several top international signings, and go way over slot to induce some supposedly college bound kids to sign that were passed for that reason. Both are ways to add the equivalent of multiple top 3-4 round picks to your regular draft each year.
    Its not that dollar amount that has me skeptical rather the age. Duran got $2M and Rodriguez got $2.5M as 16 years olds. We are talking about sophomores and juniors in high school in America. What can $4.5M buy you in the baseball draft? How many first round talents can the Reds select in the later rounds and pay with that excess money? Cueto was signed for chump change. Was that the rule or an exception?

    I do understand the nature of baseball and the insane amount of money that is handed out year after year after year. My question is there a better way to spend that money? $4.5M bought you two top 16 year olds in Latin America. Could $4.5M bought you two college seniors in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the amateur draft?

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    If the kid is talented enough, its going to cost that much no matter where you are from.
    Johnny Cueto says hi.

    Eventually yes, you are absolutely right, but if a team can get into a region where nobody else is, make a solid presence, and take care of the players, then they have an advantage. The reason the Reds are spending so much jack in Latin America is to build a presence in where other teams have been for years. Throwing money there seems to be working. But being in on the ground floor might be cheaper and reap more long term benefits.

    The Reds would need the right combination of scouts and instructors willing to go in on any academy outside the U.S.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    Johnny Cueto says hi.

    Eventually yes, you are absolutely right, but if a team can get into a region where nobody else is, make a solid presence, and take care of the players, then they have an advantage. The reason the Reds are spending so much jack in Latin America is to build a presence in where other teams have been for years. Throwing money there seems to be working. But being in on the ground floor might be cheaper and reap more long term benefits.

    The Reds would need the right combination of scouts and instructors willing to go in on any academy outside the U.S.
    Of course there are guys that will surprise you with talent when signing low/getting drafted late. Also your setting up an academy idea and getting players cheap would only work for so long I believe. I say this because eventually those kids will get pub for having talent (if in fact they do have it) and other teams will come in to start throwing money around.
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

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    Re: Reds investing heavily in Latin players (interesting article from Reds website)

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbachunk View Post
    Of course there are guys that will surprise you with talent when signing low/getting drafted late. Also your setting up an academy idea and getting players cheap would only work for so long I believe. I say this because eventually those kids will get pub for having talent (if in fact they do have it) and other teams will come in to start throwing money around.
    But by the time that happens, the Reds are entrenched and hopefully with a good reputation. And that helps alot.
    Suck it up cupcake.


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