In news that we really should have presented earlier, the Detroit Tigers signed Dominican third baseman Adelin Santa on July 2nd. Santa was paid $750,000 in a signing bonus. As a prospect, he features premium power potential from the right side with an excellent throwing arm. Santa needs work on conditioning and, though he does not feature plus speed, could stay at third base, though it is possible he moves to right field. Early comparisons have been made between Santa and Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, but that talk is incredibly premature.
On another note, this makes the second year in which the Tigers have paid top dollar for a Latin American prospect. Last year, Detroit spent over a million dollars on Danry Vasquez, a Venezuelan outfielder. From a player development standpoint, increased involvement in the Latin American trade markets is a good thing; it shows the willingness of the front office to expand its scope to find good players for the farm system. The expansion in additional markets may also be in anticipation of a hard-slotting system in the draft that will inhibit the fall of elite prospects.
Whatever the reason, signing good, young players is always a good thing.