MIAMI – The Phillies signed a pair of Venezuelan shortstops as the international signing period for 16-year-old players began Wednesday.
Baseball America ranks Arquimedes Gamboa as the eighth-best international prospect in that age group. The Phillies signed the 5-11 switch-hitter for $900,000.
The Phils also signed shortstop Daniel Brito out of Venezuela. He earned a $650,000 signing bonus. Brito stands 6-1 and hits left-handed. Baseball America has him ranked 29th on the list of 16-year-old international prospects.
The Phils also signed left-handed pitcher Jhon Nunez out of Panama for about $100,000, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The club was working on several other signings and Amaro said he expected the team to use its entire international allotment of $3.2 million.
“We like both the shortstops, a lot,” Amaro said. “We like the left-handed pitcher a lot, too. We kind of snuck up on the left-hander.”
Here's what Baseball America had to say about Gamboa, who has the potential to be a good defensive shortstop:
"He’s a quick-twitch athlete with plus speed and nice actions at shortstop, where he’s light on his feet with adept body control and good hands. His arm is average and has a chance to get better with more strength, though his accuracy needs work."
The biggest question on Gamboa is how much impact he will have at the plate.
"He’s a switch-hitter who’s better from the left side, with a loose, contact-oriented stroke," Baseball America said. "He puts the ball in play and sprays the ball around the field with occasional pop to the gaps."
Brito has impressed some scouts with his ability to hit in games, according to Baseball America:
"His bat speed is just fair, but he has good hand-eye coordination, keeps his hands short to the ball and understands how to use the middle of the field. He lacks the strength to hit for power now and may need to tone down a leg kick that doesn’t seem suited for his game."
As for his play in the field, Baseball America said Brito has "good hands and footwork" with an "average, accurate arm."