PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Phillies have signed 19-year-old infielder Leonardo Colagrossi to a professional contract, according to FIBS (Italian Baseball Softball Federation).
For three seasons, from 2013-2015, Colagrossi participated in the Italian Academy of Baseball and Softball in Tirrenia and focused his studies on biochemistry. On Nov. 23, the Angel Service Nettuno 2 of the Italian Baseball League announced that they had agreed to a three-year deal with Colagrossi.
The Phillies reportedly pursued Colagrossi 'for nearly a year,' before finally coming to terms to a deal. Colagrossi reportedly declined to sign with the Phillies at first, but later changed his mind when Phillies European scout Claudio Ferraro contacted him again on Christmas Eve after a November audition took place Santo Domingo, according to MLB Italia.
Colagrossi described the call back as "the best Christmas present," and that he 'did not think twice' to become a Phillie.
Colagrossi batted .312/.390/.419 this past season with 29 hits, eight of which went for extra bases with seven doubles and a home run, over 27 games and 93 at-bats.
No official announcement has yet to be made by the Phillies regarding the signing and where he will play within their minor league system in 2016. He will, however, attend minor league camp in Santo Domingo, which begins in a couple of weeks.
Colagrossi grew up in Nettuno, which is a town located in the province of Rome.
Matt Rappa (@mattrappasports) is managing editor of Philliedelphia.com.