On the first day of international free agency, the Phillies pulled a quick move by signing two young players out of the Dominican Republic. Jose Pujols and Deivi Grullon are both ranked among the top 20 international free agents. Even if you do not hear these names ever again, I just wanted to give you guys a brief scouting report on both players.
Jose Pujols, a Dominican corner outfielder, signed for $600,000 plus giving 60,000 for a college scholarship. Here is a brief scouting report (from Perfect Game Dominican League Prospects):
Pujols is one of the more difficult players to scout in the DPL group and there is a significant difference of opinion on him among scouts. On the plus side, Pujols has a big and very projectable athletic build and should end up in the 6-foot-5, 225-pound type range. He runs the 60 in 6.88 seconds and has right field type arm strength with improvement in his throwing fundamentals and footwork.
On the plus/plus side, Pujols has the type of raw power you rarely see in a teenager. He hits balls in BP to the middle of the field that are routinely 400-plus feet making it scary to think about his power when he matures physically (Giancarlo Stanton is a name that has been mentioned!!!!!!). While some hitters have bat speed, Pujols has bat acceleration. He gets it moving the quickest right in the middle of the hitting zone. On the negative side, Pujols has a somewhat unconventional swing that has surprisingly little extension for a power hitter and isn’t on plane with the ball long through the zone. However, game contact is a definite issue right now and could be for some time.
Deivi Grullon, a Dominican catcher, signed for $575,000.00. Here is a brief scouting report (from Perfect Game Dominican League Prospects):
Grullon is considered one of the top catching prospects in Latin America this year. His body type resembles Carlos Ruiz-PHI, the resemblance goes further as his overall future potential is also a close comp. He has a classic catcher’s build, with a thick trunk and heavy thighs and above average present strength, but has surprising one spot lower half quickness behind the plate and is an exceptional blocker. Grullon’s raw arm strength is exceptional and grades out to be above average (65). He does have a hitch in his throwing release which keeps his pop times consistently around 1.85-1.95, but that is only a very minor concern. Offensively, Grullon has some length in his swing but has the strength to create raw bat speed and shows gap power. Most impressively, he showed a very good ability to make adjustments to his swing within an at-bat and was one of the few DPL hitters with a two-strike approach. That kind of aptitude bodes well for his future development.