After splashing out $900k on Dominican SS Amado Nuñez earlier today, the Sox have signed three more significant prospects from the 7/2 class in Venezuelan catcher Jhoandro Alfaro for $750,000, Dominican SS Ricardo Mota also for $750,000 and Dominican 2B Felix Mercedes for $250,000. These signings total $2.65m and leave the Sox with ~$1.623m from their signing pool.
The Sox strategy this year represents a shift from 2013, where they spent the majority of their money on Micker Adolfo. This year the Sox have spread their money around and have managed to bring in four potentially high caliber prospects. This has allowed the Sox to infuse a higher volume of talent into the system, and due to the “lottery ticket” odds of these prospects ever reaching the Majors, the high volume strategy could prove more effective.
Name: Jhoandro Alfaro
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 180
Jhoandro Alfaro is the brother of Texas Rangers prospect and one of the top catching prospects in baseball, Jorge Alfaro. Like his brother, Jhoandro possesses a strong arm, which is his standout tool. Baseball America call his arm strength “at least plus” and MLB.com say he can “shut down an opponent’s running game.” His overall defensive ability is considered relatively advanced for his age, with MLB.com noting his ability to block balls thrown in the dirt and BA noting his good actions behind the plate.
Offensively, opinions are mixed. MLB.com say he has the possibility to be an above average hitter with plus raw power. Baseball America say that Jhoandro does not have the same raw power as his brother and that his bat needs to catch up to his glove. His speed has been rated as significantly below average.
Alfaro offers intriguing upside due to his defensive prowess alone, and if the bat can develop then he has the chance to be an impact player in MLB.
Name: Ricardo Mota
Height/Weight: 6’0”, 160
D.O.B.: Unknown (Age 16)
There is not a lot of information circulating about Ricky Mota at this moment. All I could find is the following from Ben Badler:
Mota, 16, is a 6-foot, 160-pound righthanded hitter who trained with Jaime Ramos and played in the International Prospect League.
Name: Felix Mercedes
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 185
D.O.B.: Unknown (Age 17)
Again, there is not a lot of information about Mercedes also. At 17, he was presumably eligible to sign last year, but perhaps had some problem or an injury that prevented him from signing previously. Ben Badler wrote that Mercedes “impressed some scouts with his righthanded power and arm strength” but is not a natural at SS, making either 2B or 3B his likely position.