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According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Twins have signed Dominican shortstop Javier Pimentel to a $575,000 signing bonus. In July, the 17 year old was ranked as the #10 prospect to come out of the Dominican Republic this year. The Twins continued their trend of spending internationally. Last week, they ‘won’ the rights to negotiate with Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka by posting a bid of $5.3 million. Last year, they signed the #1 prospect from the Dominican Republic, Miguel Sano, to a $3.15 million signing bonus. They also signed Dominican shortstop Jorge Polanco for approximately $750,000. They also signed Max Kepler, believed to be the best prospect ever to come out of Europe, for about $750,000.
Last year, Twins GM Bill Smith told John Bonnes of TwinsCentric (in the 2009/10 Offseason GM Handbook) that the Twins have spent the past decade focusing on the international scouting and now in the last year, they are really seeing the benefits of those efforts. It takes time to penetrate a new market. The Twins clearly have a much better name now in the Dominican Republic. They now have a name in Japan and the Far East. They have been strong in Australia.
What do I know about Javier Pimentel? Pretty much nothing other than what Blake Bentley wrote at MLB Trade Rumors in early July which was, “A wide-shouldered shortstop with a solid bat and plenty of room for improvement.” Sounds like a very talented kid, with power potential, who is very raw and has a long way to go. He may be in the GCL next year, or the Twins may have him spend the summer in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the States.
It’s exciting to be a Twins fan thanks to Target Field. I mean, it’s always exciting for me to be a Twins fan, but the opportunities that are open to the Twins now that were not options just two or three years ago can’t be ignored!
Any thoughts? Please feel free to e-mail me or leave your comments here.