The White Sox announced the signing of four players as international amateur free agents: SS Amado Nuñez, C Jhoandro Alfaro, SS Ricky Mota and 2B Felix Mercedes. Baseball America had linked the first three to the White Sox, with Nuñez as the headliner.
Rated by both BA and MiLB.com as the 26th best prospect in this year's class, Nuñez reportedly received a $900K bonus. BA said: "He’s impressed some teams with his potential to be an offensive-oriented shortstop who might end up moving off the position." From MiLB.com:
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55
Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing close to 180 pounds, some have compared Nunez to a teenage Alex Rodriguez.
Overall, scouts like his medium-frame build, his bat speed and his power potential. He has also been praised for his fluid swing and balanced setup at the plate. The broad-shouldered teen can also hit the ball to all fields. The shortstop could end up at third base in the future but will likely stay in the middle of the infield for now because of his soft hands, quick feet and range. He also has an average but accurate arm.
The son of a colonel in the Dominican Republic's military, Nunez has been praised for his makeup and leadership abilities. Competitive and aggressive, he also played in international tournaments in Mexico and Venezuela.
Nunez is based in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and is trained by Aldo Marrero. The White Sox have expressed serious interest in the infielder.
Alfaro is a Colombian catcher who is the younger brother of Rangers catcher Jorge Alfaro, who is one of the top prospects in baseball. He is reported to have gotten a $750K bonus. MiLB.com rated him as the 28th best prospect:
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 35 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55
The younger brother of Texas Rangers catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, Jhoandro also has a chance to be a Major League player one day. The Venezuelan teenager has shown the ability to be an impact catcher on both sides of the ball and continues to improve.
On defense, Alfaro has displayed quick reactions behind the plate and has earned praise for his body control and ability to block balls in dirt. His arm strength might be his best tool, and he has the potential to shut down an opponent's running game.
Scouts have taken notice of Alfaro's bat and his advanced approach at the plate. Like his older brother, the younger Alfaro has good baseball instincts and good makeup. Some scouts question his body type and how that will play in the future, but others are confident that his 5-foot-8, 200-pound frame will not be an issue. Alfaro is trained by Rafael Montero in Las Coabas and is represented by Abel Guerra. The White Sox have expressed serious interest in the teenage catcher.
Like Nuñez, Mota is Dominican. I believe Mercedes is also Dominican. If so, he was reportedly eligible to be signed in 2013, so there's probably some story there.
He received the largest bonus, $950K. He received $250K.
After spending $1.6 million on Micker Adolfo last year, it was rumored the White Sox would be spreading around their international pool money this year on more players. Their pool is $4,273,200.