Tigers to land pair of top SS in int’l class

Detroit Tigers

The Tigers are off to a good start on the first day of the international signing period, adding two of the top shortstops in the class to the organization.
According to industry sources, the club has agreed to deals with the Dominican Republic’s Cristian Santana, No. 14 on MLB Pipeline’s

The Tigers are off to a good start on the first day of the international signing period, adding two of the top shortstops in the class to the organization.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to deals with the Dominican Republic’s Cristian Santana, No. 14 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects list, and Venezuela’s Abel Bastidas, No. 27, for $1.175 million.

The club has not confirmed the deals.

Santana has five-tool potential with a chance to have plus tools across the board. He shows above-average bat speed and good balance in the box. He also shows some raw power now and it has a chance to develop into a plus tool in the future. On defense, the teen shows an average arm, and while he’s not a flashy defender, he’s steady.

As for Bastidas, he’s trained by former Major League infielders and brothers Cesar and Maicer Izturis, and compares physically to a young Carlos Guillen, the 14-year big leaguer. In the batter’s box, he shows power from both sides of the plate and exhibits a smooth swing path with good balance. He projects to add power as he grows. He has a chance to be a plus defender because of his strong arm, quick feet and soft hands.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the Draft — like the Tigers — have the most money to spend on international prospects, with a pool of $6,431,000. Clubs that receive a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft receive the second most at $5,889,600.

Unlike in previous years, teams are not allowed to trade any of their international pool money. Signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club’s bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 years of age and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

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