MLB Rumors: MLB Pipeline’s top 30 international prospects for the upcoming J-2 signing period for 2018-19 is out, with scouting reports and information on the top players who will be eligible come July 2, 2018. The Rangers, as usual, are identified as a team that is “expected to be aggressive” once the international signing period starts.
The player on the top 30 list linked to the Rangers is catcher Jose Rodriguez, a catcher out of Venezuela who is described as perhaps the most advanced hitter from Venezuela this year, with MLB Pipeline citing scouts as comparing him to Brian McCann (though hopefully without the Fun Police persona). BA also mentions the Rangers being linked to Rodriguez, describing him as an “offensive-minded catcher with an advanced bat.”
The Rangers’ bonus pool for 2018-19 will be $4,983,500, with the ability to trade to up to another 75% on top of that amount.
The Rangers acquired significant additional international bonus funds for the 2017-18 signing period, primarily with an eye towards pursuing Shohei Ohtani. While they didn’t land Ohtani, of course, they did add a significant amount of international free agent talent, with Julio Pablo Martinez being the biggest name, and Keyber Rodriguez, Damian Mendoza, Keithron Moss and Diosbel Arias also being guys to keep an eye on.