The Royals have signed outfielder Erick Peña out of the Dominican Republic on the first day of the 2019 international signing period, according to MLB.com reporter Jesse Sanchez. MLB.com ranks Peña as the fifth-best international prospect in this signing period, and he will receive a $3.8 million signing bonus from the Royals.
Peña seems to have superstar potential drawing comps to former Royals star Carlos Beltran. The left-handed hitter stands at an imposing 6’3’’ and already shows good pop with solid tools. Sanchez writes:
Pena is an athletic outfielder who can hit and play defense. The offense-oriented outfielder can run enough to keep him in center field as he progresses, but there is a chance he ends up in right field. At the moment, hit and power are Pena’s best tools, but the other parts of his game are not far behind. The left-handed hitter has a sound approach at the plate with a slight uppercut swing and hard contact to all fields. He projects to have plus power and does not have a lot of swing and miss, already showing strength and quickness through the strike zone, with the ball jumping off his bat.
Royals have signed Erick Pena, outfielder out of the Dominican Republic for $3.8M. A consensus top 5 international prospect.— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) July 2, 2019
Based on his 40+ FV at FanGraphs, that would put him as the Royals 9th or 10th best prospect
According to Sanchez, the Royals will also sign shortstop Jorge Morales of Venezuela, outfielder Jairo Mendez, and catcher Aldrin Lucas of the Dominican Republic. The Royals are also expected to sign Dominican catcher Meiver Borges, according to Ben Badler at Baseball America.
The Royals can spend a total of $6,481,200 on international free agents this period, tied for most in baseball.
Wednesday update: The Royals have signed outfielder Roger Leyton out of Nicaragua, according to Clint Scoles. Here is a portion of what Scoles has to say about Leyton:
A five-tool type outfielder the organization believes he has the toolset to stay in center with his gliding footspeed. An all field line drive contact approach Leyton could develop into a 15-20 home run player down the line.