About a week ago some of our favorite Phillies blogs had caught wind of a seemingly minor although very intriguing signing by the organization in Julsan Kamara. Details are still sparse however, as the front office hasn’t made too big a deal over the 17-year-old prospect from Germany.
The report originally surfaced from the European site Mister Baseball, which noted Kamara agreed to a seven-year minor league contract, and that he would enter the Phillies’ system full-time in the spring of 2014 after he graduates high school. The 6-4, 192-lb. right-hander has attended an MLB academy, participated in a home run derby at Marlins Park, and is a member of the German national team.
The Phillies have downplayed the possibility that they snagged one of the best prospects in Germany, a potential diamond in the rough. In fact, they’ve hardly commented on it at all from what we’ve seen. The Inquirer’s Mark Narducci managed to get a few words out of assistant general manager Benny Looper, which the scribe shared over the weekend.
"The ball comes off his bat well and we think there is potential power there," said Benny Looper, the Phillies assistant general manager, player personnel. "He has general athleticism and we are hoping that translates to a good baseball player."
"He hasn't played a lot and with a lot of international signings he needs to be taught how to play the game," Looper said. "He has good tools and we are looking forward to working with him."
As an aside, Looper sounds exactly like one of those scouts in the film adaptation of Moneyball.
Who is Julsan Kamara? It seems we don’t know, and likely won’t learn a ton more for years to come. He’s obviously a long way from ever contributing at the big-league level, and while the pure ability to play the game is probably there, there’s no telling how a kid that young will develop, particularly one who needs to be taught.
It’s a story we’ve been tracking though, because it’s not every day the Phillies sign 17-year-old prospects from Germany who possess plus-power and speed. The organization is scouring the earth to find talent though, and we’ll be waiting to see if Kumara’s name pops up somewhere down the road, or disappears as quietly as it appeared on to the scene.
*Photo via Power Showcase