The White Sox have reportedly signed 16 year old Luis Martinez for $250,000 out of Venezuela. His scouting report according to Baseball America shows a 6-foot-4 195 pound RHP with a fastball that can currently hit 92 MPH. They report him as also possessing a high 70’s curveball and a changeup that he mixes in as well.
This also marks a movement to clean the organization’s reputation in international free agency after the signing bonus scandal that broke wide last year in which a White Sox executive and two scouts were indicted for taking kickbacks from signing bonuses given to young Latin players. Since the departure of those scouts, the White Sox international spend has been nearly non-existent. There have been some whispers that they would increase their international presence since the playing field was somewhat leveled in the newly adopted Collective Bargaining Agreement, essentially bringing the high spending teams down closer to the Sox frugal ways. Hopefully with the recently hired Assistant Director to the General Manager – International Operations (a job title Dwight Schrute would be proud of) Marco Paddy, we can expect a much more internationally aggressive White Sox team.
What we can also take from this is that the team’s moves are finally showing elements of consistency. The Nestor Molina acquisition, as well as the returns for Carlos Quentin and Jason Frasor all indicate that KW’s eyes are on stockpiling talented young arms. I have to agree with the philosophy. If you give enough of these kids a chance to grow and prove themselves somebody has got to stick. Giving them some access to Don Cooper at some point doesn’t hurt either.