Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated is reporting the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Socrates Brito from the Dominican Republic. Brito, a 17-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder reportedly will received a six-figure contract from the Diamondbacks.
The contract will also include a scholarship to allow Brito to continue his education. The contract is uncharacteristically large from a Diamondbacks perspective but he team felt confident in the financial commitment based upon the amount of scouting and reports the team received from its Latin American operations.
Besides Brito, the Diamondbacks also offered a contract to 18-year-old shortstop Edward Salcedo who has been compared by some to New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. The Diamondbacks appear to have lost out on Salcedo when their $1 million offer was topped by the Atlanta Braves.
Both of these players were heavily scouted by Junior Noboa and his staff at the Diamondbacks Dominican Academy and came highly recommended. Arizona has had success in the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries as a result of the work Noboa’s player evaluation and development staff have put in.
There are few details on Brito other than he is expected to have good power numbers and there were some scouts suggesting he could travel through the Diamondbacks farm system quickly depending on his plate discipline.
Personally I applaud the Diamondbacks for including a scholarship with their contract. It is important for these young ball players to have an opportunity at a higher education for when their playing days are over. I only wish more minor league contracts contained an education clause.
With a name like Socrates, the kid is almost expected to have a college education. No word on whether he will be studying philosophy. The only thing that might have made this better would have been if he were a catcher. I would have loved to say he was working behind the Plate-o.