Red Sox infield prospect Lyonell James off to hot start in Florida Complex League

Red Sox infield prospect Lyonell James had a productive day at the plate while leading the club’s Florida Complex League affiliate to an 8-6 win over the FCL Orioles at JetBlue Park on Monday afternoon.

Batting ninth and starting at first base, James went 2-for-3 with a three-run double, a walk, and one run scored. The right-handed hitter is now batting .429/.529/.595 to go along with five doubles, one triple, 11 RBIs, seven runs scored, eight walks, and four strikeouts through 14 games (51 plate appearances) this season.

Among FCL hitters who have made at least 50 trips to the plate this year, James ranks first in batting average, second in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging percentage, third in OPS (1.125), fifth in strikeout rate (7.8%), 25th in walk rate (15.7%), and first in wRC+ (207), per FanGraphs.

The younger brother of prospect Axel James, Lyonell is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the 56th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally signed the 19-year-old for $440,000 as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2019.

At that time, Baseball America’s Ben Badler noted that James “stood out for his offensive upside. He uses his hands well at the plate, whipping his barrel through the zone with quick, snappy wrists to generate fast bat speed. Those wrists and hand-eye coordination help him put the ball in play with doubles power that should tick up given his hand speed and physical projection. James is an offensive-minded player with a chance to play third base, where he has solid hands and an average arm.”

That being said, James has seen the majority of his playing time this season come at third base. The 6-foot-3, 165 pounder has logged 99 innings at the hot corner and just 17 innings at first base following Monday’s action.

Considering that he does not turn 20 until October and has plenty of projection left, it’s certainly possible James spends the majority — if not the entirety — of the 2022 season at the complex in Fort Myers. Of course, there is always a chance he could earn a promotion to Low-A Salem at some point this year, particularly on the other side of the draft later this month.

In the meantime, though, James and the FCL Red Sox will take on the FCL Orioles squad in Sarasota beginning at noon on Tuesday.

(Picture of Lyonell James: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox prospects Marvin Alcantara and Denis Reguillo identified as potential sleepers within team’s 2022 international signing class

Since the 2022 international signing period began in January, the Red Sox have signed 19 foreign-born free-agents, according to SoxProspects.com.

Boston’s 2022 signing class thus far is highlighted by the likes of shortstops Fraymi De Leon and Freili Encarnacion and catcher Johanfran Garcia, who happens to be the younger brother of Red Sox outfield prospect Jhostynxon Garcia.

While these three may be the early headliners, there are other young prospects worth keeping in mind as well. In his annual review of the Sox’ most-recent signing class, Baseball America’s Ben Badler identifies infielder Marvin Alcantara and right-hander Denis Reguillo as two possible sleepers to watch.

Alcantara, 17, was signed out of Venezuela by area scout Alex Requena back in January. The right-handed hitting shortstop did not receive much attention as an amateur and thus signed with Boston for a modest $30,000.

Still, despite the lack of eyes that were on him, Alcantara received a strong endorsement from Requena, who played a key role in making the signing happen, according to Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero.

“Just pounding the table for him,” Romero said of Requena’s interest in Alcantara in a conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “He’s one of these guys that the crosscheck group really didn’t get to see much, but he made it to signing day and our area scout was just like, ‘You need to sign this guy!’”

From the time he officially put pen to paper in January, Alcantara has made adding a muscle a priority over the last two months.

“Alcantara has started to add weight to his slender frame, standing out as a hit collector in games from the right side of the plate,” wrote Badler. “He’s a solid all-around player who could play at different spots around the infield, with his bat his calling card.”

Reguillo, on the other hand, was signed out of the Dominican Republic for just $10,000. There is not as much information available on the righty as there is on Alcantara, however.

“Reguillo was mostly in the mid-to-upper 80s as an amateur, but he has been adding weight to his slender frame since then and has the projection to be throwing in the low-to-mid 90s,” Badler wrote. “Adding more power behind his fastball would make him more intriguing, as he already has good feel for pitching and throws strikes from a good delivery with loose arm action.”

Both Alcantara and Reguillo are presumably raw and early on in their development. The Red Sox doled out a total of $40,000 for the two prospects, which accounts for less than one percent of their $5,179,700 bonus pool this year.

“The signing class isn’t made on January 15 (when the market opens),” Romero told Jennings. “The signing class is really made throughout the year when you have some more of these flexible signings. … We hammer the passed over and the (overlooked players) just as much as we do trying to make sure we’re on top of the premium, priority players in each class.”

On that note, both Alcantara and Reguillo are projected by SoxProspects.com to begin their professional careers in the Dominican Summer League. the 2022 DSL season is slated to begin sometime in July.

(Picture of JetBlue Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect Ahbram Liendo drives in 3 runs in Grapefruit League debut

Red Sox infield prospect Ahbram Liendo certainly made the most of his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday afternoon.

With the majority of Red Sox minor-leaguers leaving Fort Myers for the start of the 2022 season with their respective affiliate, Liendo was one of eight players Boston added to its roster ahead of Tuesday’s spring finale against the Twins at JetBlue Park.

After replacing Trevor Story at second base at the onset of the fifth inning, Liendo got his first crack at the plate in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs in the frame and runners at second and third, Liendo kept things going by ripping a line-drive, two-run single off Twins reliever Griffin Jax. He scored from third base himself later in the inning.

Fast forward to the seventh, and Liendo again came to the plate with two outs and runners on base. This time around, he drove in Jonathan Arauz on an RBI groundout to second. That gave Boston a 9-6 lead in what would turn out to be a 10-6 victory over Minnesota.

All told, Liendo went 1-for-2 off the bench with his single, one run scored, and a team-leading three RBIs in the Sox’ final exhibition game of the spring.

Liendo, 18, was originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela last January. The Maracay native received a signing bonus of $450,000, making him one of the more notable additions from the 2021 class.

Upon going pro last winter, Liendo had to wait a bit to make his organizational debut. In July, the Sox assigned Liendo to their Dominican Summer League Red affiliate and he debuted for the team on July 13.

Over the next two-plus months, the switch-hitting infielder slashed .251/.349/.353 (102 wRC+) with six doubles, four triples, one home run, 21 RBIs, 26 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 30 strikeouts across 46 games spanning 195 plate appearances.

Among the 90 DSL hitters who made at least 190 trips to the plate last season, Liendo ranked 45th in stolen bases, 43rd in walk percentage (12.8%), 33rd in strikeout percentage (15.4%), and 28th in speed score (7.6), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Liendo saw the majority of his playing time come at second base last year and logged 338 1/3 innings at the position. But the 5-foot-8, 170 pounder also made two appearances (17 innings) at third base and one appearance (7 innings) at shortstop while recording six errors and turning 23 total double plays.

At the time of his signing, Baseball America’s Ben Badler noted that Liendo was “a baseball rat with an outstanding arm. He’s a headsy player who could move all around the field — some scouts thought about him as a catching conversion candidate — and an average runner. He’s a switch-hitter with gap power who is more advanced from the right side of the plate.”

Liendo, who just turned 18 in February, is not currently regarded by any major publication, including Baseball America, as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system. That is understandable given his age and lack of experience.

With that being said, though, Liendo still has plenty of room to grow physically and developmentally on the field. He is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season in the rookie-level Florida Complex League and could be an intriguing player to watch once the FCL gets underway in June.

(Picture of Ahbram Liendo via his Instagram)

What to expect from Red Sox infield prospect Luis Ravelo heading into 2022 season

Red Sox infield prospect Luis Ravelo could be a player to watch this year, tweets SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall.

Ravelo, 18, signed with Boston for $545,000 as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in January 2021.

At that time, Baseball America’s Ben Badler noted that Ravelo was one of the top defensive shortstops to come out of the Dominican Republic, writing that the Santo Domingo native “has excellent hands and likes to show them off with ball tricks and fielding grounders between his legs, but in games he’s also a smart, instinctive defender. He has good actions and the ability to make both the routine play and the challenging ones, along with a plus arm.”

Upon signing his first professional contract, Ravelo remained on his home island and spent the entirety of the 2021 season in the Dominican Summer League. Across 43 games for the DSL Red Sox Red affiliate, the switch-hitter batted .243/.333/.319 (91 wRC+) with four doubles, two triples, one home run, 13 RBIs, 20 runs scored, 19 walks, and 22 strikeouts over 168 plate appearances.

Obviously, a below-average 91 wRC+ is not exactly an eye-popping statistic. That being said, Ravelo did strike out in just 13.1% of his plate appearances last year, which ranked 32nd among qualified DSL hitters, per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Ravelo unsurprisingly saw all his playing time in 2021 come at shortstop. The 6-foot-1, 187 pounder committed a total of nine errors and turned 24 double plays while logging 337 1/3 innings at the ever-important position.

After participating in the team’s fall performance program during the off-season, Ravelo returned to Fort Myers for the start of minor-league spring training earlier this month. He is projected by SoxProspects.com to start the 2022 campaign out in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

Ravelo, who does not turn 19 until November, is not yet regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system. Given his age and lack of experience, though, it feels safe to assume that Ravelo will rise through the ranks as he continues to develop both physically and developmentally.

(GIF of Luis Ravelo via Ian Cundall)

Who is Reidis Sena? Red Sox pitching prospect struck out 32.3% of the batters he faced in Florida Complex League last year

Earlier this month, FanGraphs released their list of the top 51 prospects in the Red Sox farm system heading into the 2022 system.

Headlined by the likes of Triston Casas, Marcelo Mayer, and Nick Yorke, the prospect who rounded out the list at No. 51 was right-hander Reidis Sena.

Sena, who turns 21 next month, originally signed with Boston as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic for just $10,000 in December 2018.

After making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, Sena was unable to pitch at the organizational level in 2020 since the minor-league season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The young righty instead picked up where he left off last year by spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign in the rookie-level Florida Complex League. He made his season debut on July 24 and made a total of nine appearances (three starts) for the FCL Red Sox.

In those nine outings that spanned anywhere from one to four innings in length, Sena posted a 3.22 ERA and 3.83 FIP to go along with 31 strikeouts to 13 walks over 22 1/3 innings of work.

Among all FCL pitchers who threw at least 20 innings last year, the 20-year-old ranked 21st in strikeouts per nine innings (12.49), 23rd in strikeout rate (32.3%), 21st in swinging strike rate (33.7%), 29th in FIP, and 26th in xFIP (3.99), per FanGraphs.

With a listed height and weight of 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, there is not much else available on Sena besides what FanGraphs’ Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin have on him.

“Sena is pretty raw for a pitching prospect who will be 21 in 2022,” they wrote. “He has huge arm strength, sitting 95 mph on the complex last year, and he makes very heavy use of that fastball. His slider has plus raw spin but Sena throws his heater 85% of the time right now, suggesting he and the Sox are just trying to get him to throw a viable rate of strikes more than anything else. He walked over five hitters per nine innings in 2021. If things click for him, he’ll move very quickly.”

As Goldstein and Taruskin indicated, Sena does need to work on his command considering the fact he averaged more than five walks per nine innings and walked more than 13% of the batters he faced last year.

That being said, there does seem to be some intrigue with Sena based off his current arsenal that consists of a high-octane fastball and slider. It will be interesting to see if the Red Sox view the Neiba native as a potential starter or reliever in the long-term.

On that note, though, Sena is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season in Low-A Salem’s starting rotation. He will have the opportunity to rise through Boston’s prospect ranks beginning in April.

(Picture of Reidis Sena: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

What to expect from Red Sox outfield prospect Armando Sierra heading into 2022 season

It was exactly 14 months ago Tuesday when the Red Sox signed outfielder Armando Sierra for $150,000 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic.

Although he was not the headliner of Boston’s 2021 international signing class (hello, Miguel Bleis), Sierra still received some attention from evaluators within the industry.

Last April, Baseball America’s Ben Badler identified Sierra as a potential sleeper prospect within the Sox’ international ranks, noting that the then-17-year-old had “an advanced approach to hitting for his age” as well as the ability to hit for power.

As a follow-up to that, Red Sox assistant general manager Eddie Romero all but confirmed Badler’s observations in an email exchange with BloggingtheRedSox.com.

“Armando was a player we scouted later on in his signing year. After scouting him a few times, he stood out for his strong frame and his power,” Romero said at the time. “As we continued to see him, it became apparent that not only did he have above average power for his signing class, but he also was developing a stronger approach.”

In the months following his signing, Sierra continued to work out at the Sox’ Dominican academy in El Toro before making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League last July.

Across 53 games for the club’s DSL Blue affiliate, the young right-handed hitter batted a respectable .284/.373/.379 (117 wRC+) to go along with 10 doubles, two home runs, 35 RBIs, 24 runs scored, 21 walks, and 41 strikeouts over 193 plate appearances.

Against left-handed pitching, Sierra slashed .296/.424/.370. Against right-handed pitching, he slashed .284/.365/.383 with both of his home runs and 33 of his 35 runs driven in.

Among all Dominican Summer League hitters who made at least 190 trips to the plate last year, Sierra ranked 27th in batting average, 48th in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, 51st in OPS (.752), and 54th in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Sierra was labeled as a corner infielder even before signing with Boston. In his introductory course to pro ball, the 6-foot-2, 189 pounder logged 95 innings in left field and 115 innings in right while recording a total of two outfield assists. He also appeared in eight games (seven starts) as a first baseman.

Shortly before the 2021 DSL summer came to a close last fall, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall wrote in September that Sierra’s “power potential is impressive. He is a below-average athlete and does not project to add much defensive value, but he has big-time raw power. He gets his whole body into his swing, but there are significant questions with his hit tool that could limit his power utility against more advanced pitching.” 

Sierra, who turned 18 in January, is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system. Given his age, the Sabana Grande de Palenque presumably still has room to grow physically and as a baseball player.

SoxProspects.com projects that Sierra will return to the Dominican Summer League for the start of the 2022 minor-league season. That being said, a promotion to the Florida Complex League later in the year certainly seems plausible.

(Picture of Red Sox cap: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Who is Jedixson Paez? Red Sox prospect was named team’s Latin Program Pitcher of the Year in 2021

Last season, the Red Sox had 39 minor-league pitchers who threw at least 50 innings at their respective levels. One of those 39 was young pitching prospect Jedixson Paez.

Paez, who turned 18 in January, spent the entirety of the 2021 campaign in the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old. In 13 starts for the DSL Red Sox Blue affiliate, the right-hander posted a 2.86 ERA and 3.79 FIP to go along with 49 strikeouts to just nine walks over 50 1/3 innings of work.

Among all qualified hurlers in the DSL last year, Paez ranked 11th in walks per nine innings (1.61), ninth in walk rate (4.4%), 22nd in WHIP (1.03),31st in swinging strike rate (36.7%), and 26th in xFIP (3.12), per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally signed Paez as an international free agent out of Venezuela for $450,000 last January, making the Tinaquillo native one of the more notable additions from Boston’s 2021 signing class.

With 2021 marking his first exposure to pro ball, it is noteworthy that Paez was named the Sox’ Latin Program Pitcher of the Year back in September. Around that same time, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall wrote that the righty “has the potential to be an interesting long-term prospect” if he can continue “to add strength and improve the velocity on his pitches.”

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, Paez clearly still has plenty of room to grow both physically and developmentally. According to his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Paez throws from a three-quarters arm slot and works with a fastball that hovers around 84-86 mph and a curveball that sits at 69-71 mph.

Coming into the 2022 season, Paez is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. He did, however, receive a shoutout from FanGraphs’ Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin last week for being projectable, having advanced command, and “promising” secondary stuff.

On that note, Paez is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin his age-18 season in the rookie-level Florida Complex League later this summer. It should be fascinating to see how he handles the transition from the Dominican Republic to the United States.

(Picture of Jedixson Paez via his Instagram)

Who is Miguel Ugueto? Red Sox outfield prospect batted .331 in Florida Complex League last year

Red Sox outfield prospect Miguel Ugueto was among the organization’s top performers in the Florida Complex League last year.

Nicknamed “The Machine” like Albert Pujols, Ugueto appeared in 35 games for the Sox’ rookie-level affiliate. Over that stretch, the right-handed-hitting 19-year-old batted a stout .331/.370/.528 (135 wRC+) to go along with 15 doubles, two triples, two home runs, 20 RBIs, 26 runs scored, seven stolen bases, seven walks, and 26 strikeouts across 135 plate appearances.

He posted a .949 OPS against right-handed pitching compared to a .733 OPS against left-handed pitching.

Among FCL hitters who made at least 130 trips to the plate in 2021, Ugueto ranked 13th in strikeout rate (19.3%), third in batting average, 15th in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging percentage, fifth in OPS (.898), 15th in isolated power (.197), eighth in speed score (8.6), and seventh in wRC+, per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the 6-foot-2, 185 pounder saw playing time at all three outfield positions last year in Fort Myers. He logged 99 2/3 innings in left, 56 innings in center, and 104 in right while not committing a single error and recording three outfield assists.

A native of Venezuela, Ugueto originally signed with Boston for just $10,000 as an international free agent in August 2019. His first full professional season was wiped out because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he certainly made up for lost time in 2021.

With that being said, though, there does seem to be some concern regarding Ugueto’s outlook in spite of the success he enjoyed last summer. As highlighted by SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall in September, “scouts are skeptical of his ability to hit more advanced pitching. His swing is ugly and he is a free swinger with poor pitch recognition and no approach at the plate. Unless his approach improves drastically, he will struggle to make contact as he moves up the system.

“Defensively, his profile also puts a lot of pressure on his bat, as he is slow-footed with a corner outfield profile,” added Cundall. “While he has played a significant amount of center field this year, he has moved to the corners in his last eight games.”

Ugueto, who does not turn 20 until this coming September, is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in the Red Sox’ farm system. He was, however, one of 11 outfielders to participate in the team’s fall performance program this past October.

On that note, Ugueto is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 minor-league season where he left off in 2021: the Florida Complex League. Of course, under that scenario, it would not be surprising if Ugueto were to earn a promotion to Low-A Salem at some point this summer.

(Picture of Miguel Ugueto: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

What to expect from Red Sox pitching prospect Chih-Jung Liu in 2022 following solid debut season

The road to the major-leagues has been far from a conventional one for Red Sox pitching prospect Chih-Jung Liu.

Signed out of Taiwan as an international free agent in October 2019, Liu’s path to the pros was almost immediately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the following spring.

Upon arriving in the United States that February, Liu was forced to quarantine from his hotel room in Fort Myers since the Red Sox were being extremely cautious during the early stages of the pandemic.

That quarantine period delayed Liu’s entrance into spring training, and it prevented him from making any real progress on the mound since camps across Major League Baseball were shut down in March.

As a result of the league-wide shutdown, Liu did not get to enjoy a conventional minor-league season in 2020. He instead headed back to Taiwan and rode out the lockdown at home before receiving an invite to participate in the Red Sox’ fall instructional league.

At fall instructs, Liu finally got the opportunity to pitch in front of Red Sox brass for an extended period of time. Then-vice president of player of development Ben Crockett was among those who was impressed with what they saw out of the right-hander.

“Great to actually see him,” Crockett told The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “[He was] really interesting. Showed good stuff. Good fastball with carry. Showed pitch-ability. Showed an ability to use multiple pitches that will ultimately help him. It was definitely nice to kind of get him into more of a professional routine.”

After wrapping things up at the Fenway South complex that fall, Liu returned to Taiwan and spent the winter there. He made the trek back to Southwest Florida the following spring and remained there for both minor-league and extended spring training.

Last July, the moment finally arrived when Liu could make his highly-anticipated pro debut in the Florida Complex League. Matched up against the FCL Pirates Gold affiliate in Bradenton, the righty allowed two earned runs on three hits, no walks, and six strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

That happened on July 1. The following day, Liu received a promotion to Low-A Salem, where he would spend the remainder of the year. In 12 starts for Salem, the 22-year-old posted a 4.29 ERA and 4.11 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 19 walks across 50 1/3 innings pitched.

Among those in the Low-A East who accrued at least 50 innings on the mound in 2021, Liu ranked 33rd in strikeouts per nine innings (9.66), 34th in walks per nine innings (3.40), 28th in strikeout rate (25.4%), 38th in walk rate (8.9%), 39th in batting average against (.255), 29th in WHIP (1.35), 29th in ERA, 18th in FIP, and 19th in xFIP (4.02), per FanGraphs.

At the conclusion of the minor-league season, Liu participated in the Sox’ fall performance program. He then went back to Taiwan for the off-season, but he did so with a particular goal in mind.

In an interview with The Central News Agency from December, Liu said the Red Sox wanted him to weigh in at 90 kilograms, or about 198 pounds, by the time he returned to the club in the spring. His listed weight at the beginning of last season was 185 pounds but he told The Central News Agency that he was now weighing in at 89 kilograms (196 pounds), meaning he is close to reaching his goal.

Coming into the 2022 season, Liu is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 25 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 11th among pitchers in the organization. The 6-foot, 196 pound hurler operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-94 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, an 82-84 mph changeup, and an 83-86 mph slider, per his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

A native of Tainan City, Liu is a former two-way player who signed with the Red Sox for $750,000 out of Chinese Culture University in 2019. He will turn 23 in April and is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 campaign in High-A Greenville’s starting rotation.

(Picture of Chih-Jung Liu: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

How did Red Sox wind up signing Venezuelan shortstop prospect Marvin Alcantara? Eddie Romero explains

According to Baseball America, the Red Sox have signed 16 international free agents since the 2022 signing window opened last Saturday.

Among the 16 prospects signed thus far, Dominican shortstops Fraymi de Leon and Freili Encarnacion and Venezuelan catcher Johanfran Garcia stick out as the headliners since they received attention from either Baseball America or MLB Pipeline.

With that being said, though, there may be another shortstop the Red Sox signed out of Venezuela who is worthy of some recognition as well. His name? Marvin Alcantara.

In a recent conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings, Red Sox executive vice president and assistant general manager Eddie Romero identified Alcantara as someone that was not necessarily getting a ton of attention from other teams, but was still doing some eye-opening things on the field.

More specifically, it was the team’s Venezuelan area scout — Alex Requena — who made the case for Boston to sign Alcantara. Requena, per Romero, saw that Alcantara was a confident infielder who made solid contact at the plate, was an average runner on the base paths, and had the ability to play shortstop and second base if needed.

“Just pounding the table for him,” Romero said of Requena’s interest in Alcantara when speaking with Jennings. “He’s one of these guys that the crosscheck group really didn’t get to see much, but he made it to signing day and our area scout was just like, ‘You need to sign this guy!’”

And so the Red Sox did sign Alcantara for a reported $30,000, according to MLB.com. The right-handed hitter is one of eight prospects Boston has added out of Venezuela so far this winter.

As noted by Jennings, however, the $30,000 Alcantara has reportedly signed for represents less than 0.6 percent of the $5,179,700 in signing bonus pool space the Sox have to work with this year. The signing period opened on January 15 and does not close until mid-December.

“The signing class isn’t made on January 15,” said Romero. “The signing class is really made throughout the year when you have some more of these flexible signings. … We hammer the passed over and the (overlooked players) just as much as we do trying to make sure we’re on top of the premium, priority players in each class.”

The Red Sox will hope the modest price they paid for Alcantara’s services will prove to be even more of a bargain in the long run. In the interim, the 17-year-old is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season — and his professional career — in the Dominican Summer League.

(Picture of Eddie Romero: Angela Rowlings/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)