Back in June, the scuttlebutt was that the Dodgers were going to sign all of the top international prospects because of course they were. They had the money, they had the resources, they had the technology. Two of the prospects likely to sign with the Dodgers were Bahamian shortstop Lucius Fox and 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez.
The Giants have them both now. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Giants have reportedly signed Martinez for $2.5 million. If you're looking for a sweet way to start a scouting report, this will do:
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 70 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60
Think a young Andruw Jones. That's how some scouts have described the 20-year-old center fielder from Cuba. Evaluators like his body -- described as solid and compact -- and his athleticism. But there's a lot more to like.
In the batter's box, Martinez has a quick and compact power stroke. He's shown the ability to hit home runs to all fields and work the counts. He's speedy out of the box and shows base-stealing potential. Described as "hard-nosed," Martinez is aggressive and not afraid to take an extra-base.
Oh, that's all?
To be fair, those scouting grades seem a little ... aggressive. That's basically Andrew McCutchen, with maybe a little less batting average. Martinez is probably not Andrew McCutchen. Or Andruw Jones, who is a borderline Hall of Famer.
Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs was a little more tempered with his praise:
... most scouts I spoke with hanging a 50 on his bat and a 45 on his game power (12-15 homers), easily projecting him as an everyday player if he sticks in center as expected. It isn't the most electric, toolsy Cuban prospect in recent memory, but it's roughly comparable to Red Sox OF Rusney Castillo, with less raw power.
The good news is that we'll find out soon enough. The 20-year-old Martinez might start at San Jose next year, and I would guess that he would be aggressively promoted if he succeeds. This isn't a 16-year-old with all the tools in the world. It's someone just a little younger than the kids fighting for the AL Rookie of the Year, so it's not out of the question that we'll see him in the next couple of seasons. If we see him at all.
Once the Giants signed Fox, though, they were already over the international spending cap, and they were going to be penalized during the 2016 signing period. They won't be able to spend more than $250,000 on any one player next year, and they'll pay a 100-percent tax on everything over the current international spending cap. It made sense for them to go all-in and rack up the penalties now, rather than go half-in and still deal with the penalties next year.
The Giants didn't finish second. It's a new era! The only thing left to do is stop my fingers from typing "Esteve" after every ... single ... mention of Eddy Martinez. In a couple years, I'm sure I'll nail it.