The Phillies on Monday added another shortstop prospect to their system, signing 16-year-old Panamanian Jonathan Arauz.
Arauz, who just turned 16 this week, was signed at first eligibility. He received a $600,000 bonus.
Arauz is 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, and he is considered a player who can stay at shortstop in the future. He's the most recent 16-year-old Latin American to sign with the Phillies this summer. Last month, the team signed a pair of shortshops from Venezuela: Arquimedez Gamboa for $900,000 and Daniel Brito for $650,000 (see story). The Phillies also signed a 16-year-old Venezuelan catcher, Lenin Rodriguez, for $300,000, and a 16-year-old Panamanian lefthanded pitcher, Jhon Nunez, for $80,000.
With the signings of Gamboa, Brito and Arauz, the Phillies are deep in young prospects at shortstop. Keep in mind that top young talent often play shortstop and can be moved to other positions as they move up the ladder. In fact, scouts say Brito has the ability to become a centerfielder.
J.P. Crawford, 19, remains the Phillies' top shortstop prospect. He projects to play that position in coming seasons in Philadelphia. He is currently playing at Single A Clearwater.