Nationals Announce Signing Of 16 IFAs

Three Venezuelans and Thirteen Dominicans Join The Nationals Organization

This morning the Washington Nationals announced the signings of 16 International Free Agents, highlighted by catcher Raudy Read and outfielder Randy Novas; both are 17 years old and are right-handed batters.

Read and Novas were previously mentioned in Washington Post beat writer Adam Kilgore’s profile of the Nats’ Dominican Republic Baseball Academy earlier this month.

Here’s what the official press release had to say about Read and Novas:

Read was signed out of the Dominican Republic and has great instincts behind the plate, including exceptional hands, feet and arm strength. The 17-year-old right-handed batter has demonstrated a powerful bat with superior plate discipline. Novas, a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic, possesses advanced tools. His speed and instincts translate to superior range in the outfield, and the right-handed batter has consistently demonstrated power to all fields.

Eleven of the other 14 signings were also from the Dominican Republic. Here’s a look at them by position, age in parentheses:

LHP – Joel Barrientos (17), Brian Escolastico (18) and Hector Silvestre (18)
RHP – Gilberto Mendez (18) and Felix Moscat (20)
CA – Pedro Severino (17)
1B – Arialdi Peguero (18)
SS – Yewri Guillen (18)
3B – Diomedes Eusebio (18)
OF – Wilman Rodriguez (19) and Dioncio Rosario (17)

The three remaining signings were from Venezuela:

RHP – Anderson Martinez (18)
CA – Jorge Tillero (17)
OF – Juan De Los Santos (17)

Updates to come if I am able to find anything else about these players.

Unlikely. Thus far, searching on the names has been like the Grinch in his lair.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

17 thoughts on “Nationals Announce Signing Of 16 IFAs”

  1. I love Dominican names.

    Diomedes? He was in the Iliad and the Aeneid.
    and Dionicio that has got to be Dionysus, right?

    Sorry I’m just a mythology nerd I guess.

  2. Is there any crosscheck to some of the lists of top International Free Agents? Just wondering if any of these young men are on those lists.

    1. I’m not sure if those lists exist for public consumption — most of the coverage I can find is after-the-fact or commentary about how much Team X has or will spend.

  3. Wow, the Nats actually announced their signing class! That’s a big first. Won’t have to hunt DSL boxscores and compare with previous rosters to see who is “new”.

    So 7 17’s, 7 18’s, a 19 and a 20 yr old. Jorge Tillero turned 17 just in December, as did Rosario. Novas turned 17 last July while Read did so just in October. These “might” have been 16 when signed, since the Nats did not give out signing dates. BTW, already has most of these guys on the DSL Nats roster.

    1. Vladi: Suprising indeed, both for the Nationals to release the names, and for for having them posted this early.

    1. has Rosario’s birthday as Dec 14, 1994, which would make him a freshly minted 16 yr old. Some conflicting info on the ages in the release and what was in the Post (Novas = 16) and (Rosario =16).

      Rosario just turning 16 is puzzling, forgot what rule is, is July 2 date when prospects who turn 16 in calender year 2010 can sign? If so, then Rosario is just under the deadline as being signable..

  4. If they were US Citizens playing in the U.S., where would they be playing? A 17 year old is (for the most part) a high school senior. So would they be drafted into pro ball, receive offers from D1 schools, offers from D2/D3? Relative to their U.S. counterparts, where would they stand?

  5. That’s a great question, but I don’t think there’s an adequate answer… at least none that I can give. The impetus to go international is to find a hidden gem that you don’t have to draft (just find and sign). If these players were U.S. citizens, a lot more would be known about them but they would be draft-eligible. I don’t think you can necessarily infer that Jugador Equis would be a D1 guy because he signed for a certain amount — that money is a reflection of the market between the teams trying (or not trying) to get him.

    Something to keep your eye on this coming winter is the new CBA. There’s talk about extending the draft to the Dominican, which has had folks up in arms fearing that it will be like Puerto Rico, which has been (perhaps incorrectly) blamed for its demise there.

  6. It’s a strange dichotomy. In the U.S., the existence of the draft “protects” the MLB balance sheet, HS players and the college system (even though there are only 11.7 scholarships per College Dx team!). Yet outside of the U.S., except for P.R., it’s a free market system (and depending on the country, unregulated) where it is a high-risk futures market.

    The question is: do you allow a school-based system to develop talent, or do you allow a free market system to develop the talent? In a way, you’re already starting to see the school-based system crumble with the formation of showcase HS teams where studs play studs (see East Cobb). And it’s just a matter of time before Dx schools drop revenue-losing baseball: see UC Berkeley! (Think of it another way: the structural foundation for the school-based U.S. draft starts with HS school boundaries…how artificial and inefficient is that?!?!?!)

    So if the school-based system in the U.S. is being undermined by market forces, why would MLB keep the draft? To reduce costs…period. Yet it’s almost as if U.S. market forces are creating the environment to nurture a “buscones”-based system. What’s to prevent some of these high-visibility showcase teams from creating an agent-based relationship with amateur players right now, and sell contracts to MLB clubs?

    You could argue that should you start to see this, then MLB build will academies all over the damn country to lock out the agents, and/or work in concert with the agents to co-fund development. Either way, it undermines the anachronistic draft.

    On the other hand, should it be implemented, a worldwide draft and it’s “protection” blows up the “buscones”-based system (or whatever it is called outside of the D.R.). Downside: with the exception of Asia, there’s no other development program to fall back upon. A worldwide draft is destructive.

    Many talented soccer players in the US are bypassing the school-based system altogether, and many are playing for the MLS academies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same happen to amateur baseball where talent is developed and presented to MLB clubs by an agent-based system. Boras Academy of Baseball anyone?

  7. While it’s interesting to think about, I doubt things will change much. Though I must admit, after doing my master’s thesis on college sports, it wouldn’t break my heart to see that system gutted, if not returned to the D3 model. But I suspect the old dictum about what keeps a university running smoothly — football for the alumni, parking for the faculty, and beer for the students — makes that extremely unlikely.

  8. Pingback: IFA Update

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