According to Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki, The club is expected to sign 16-year-old slugger Jhailyn Ortiz today, the first day of the international signing period.
The 6’2, 260-pound Ortiz is said to possess power that scouts “have not seen in years” from a player his age, and has the best raw power out of his entire class.
Scouts have called his home runs “legendary” and his line-drives into the outfield gaps “just as impressive.”This is great news, especially for an organization that is lacking serious pop in its farm system.
The slugger is currently listed as an outfielder, and while some scouts have worries regarding his athleticism, others believe he has the tools to stay there. First base is an alternative for Ortiz if the outfield doesn’t pan out.
The Phillies, who were hesitant to sign Cuban talents Yasmany Tomas and Yoan Moncada last winter, have a budget of $3,041,700 to allocate towards international prospects. They are expected to exceed that amount to sign Ortiz, which will make them unable to sign any pool-eligible player for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods, if they exceed their pool by 15 percent.
At 16, Ortiz will be a long-term project for the Phillies. The organization is in desperate need of a power transfusion, and hopefully Ortiz can develop into a solid power hitter for the team down the line.
UPDATE: Phillies are now finalizing estimated $4.2 million deal with Ortiz.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) July 2, 2015