The Red Sox have been exceptionally active on the international free agent market in recent years, landing big names such as Rafael Devers, Anderson Espinoza, Christopher Acosta, and of course Yoan Moncada over the past two years. In fact, the Red Sox have been so active that they incurred serious spending penalties and appeared to be destined for a gap year of sorts in 2015. However, that turns out to be a gross underestimation of the Boston front office’s creativity as the Red Sox have found a way to sign two highly-ranked international talents, Albert Guiamaro and Simon Muzziotti, to $300K bonuses each.
Guaimaro is the more highly-touted of the two, ranked #14 on MLB.com’s top 30 international free agents and 15th by Baseball America while Muzziotti is BA’s #15 prospect. He profiles as the prototypical right fielder going forward, though he also has some experience catching. Considered to be extremely athletic, he has the potential be to an excellent right fielder with his above-average arm and speed. At the plate, he is a bit raw and an aggressive hitter but he has the potential to develop average power and hit tools.
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And though Muzzioti isn’t considered as high caliber a prospect as Guaimaro, he’s hardly a slouch either. While Guaimaro profiles as a typical right fielder, Muzzioti perfectly fits the mold of a center fielder. He has excellent speed and profiles as at least an average defender despite a weak arm. Muzziotti doesn’t have much power at the plate but he has the ability to hit to all fields and could hit for a decent average going forward.
With international signings, it’s important to remember that these guys are all incredibly young and, unless you’re like me and scour the box scores of the low minors, Red Sox fans won’t be hearing about them for quite some time. Still, it’s encouraging and exciting to see the Red Sox lock up intriguing talent despite such severe spending limits ($300K is the max bonus they could give to any player). Player development has certainly not been a shortcoming of the Red Sox during the Cherington era and it doesn’t look like the Red Sox will be taking a year off after all.