The Brewers agreed to terms with a trio of right-handed pitchers last week after they auditioned for general manager Doug Melvin at the team’s new facility in the Dominican Republic, amateur scouting director Bruce Seid said.
The Brewers have agreements in place with Eduard Reyes, 19, Carlos Sosa, 18, and Elvis Mora, 17, though all three contracts are pending a Major League Baseball investigation into the player’s ages. Such investigations are now standard practice in International signings, and can take 4-6 weeks to complete.
Seid’s policy is not to reveal signing bonuses, but he did say that all three players came at a “reasonable” cost. Melvin was at the academy last week and saw all three pitchers in person.
“We felt like we maximized our dollars with these three guys,” Seid said. “They’re all 90-plus [mph] velocity guys at 17-19 years old.”
The Brewers had been tracking all three players at their new academy north of the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. Milwaukee had ceased operating a Dominican academy in 2003, soon after Melvin and and assistant GM Gord Ash were hired, and instead put the money they had been spending on the facility toward higher-profile signings.
The experiment yielded only modest results, so last summer the Brewers resumed a Dominican presence in a co-venture with the Orioles. The Brewers subsequently moved into a complex previously owned by the Phillies, complete with two baseball fields, batting cages, housing and mess facilities and classroom space where players are instructed in English, among other topics. The idea is to prepare young players — most are 16-19 — to eventually move to affiliates in the U.S.
Whether Reyes, the oldest of last week’s signees at 19, makes that jump immediately remains to be seen, Seid said. While MLB’s age investigation is ongoing, Reyes will continue to participate at the academy.
“He threw 90-91 [mph] for us and had a good feel to pitch,” Seid said. “He wanted to sign, and we were on board with that.”
Reyes was a participant in the Dominican Prospect League, an organization that is trying to bring some order to a scouting process that in the past has been scattered. The DPL first trumpeted Reyes’ deal with the Brewers on its website last week.
Sosa is the big man of the trio at 6-foot-6. Mora touched 93 mph for Brewers scouts and Seid compared him to former Brewers pitcher Salomon Torres, a fellow Dominican.