Saturday, May 22, 2010

Astros remain aggressive on the international market

That Dominican facility is really starting to pay off as Ben Badler reports the Astros have signed two "top Dominican arms:" 16-year old RHP Michael Feliz ($400,000) and 17-year old RHP Jose Montero ($350,000).

Baseball America's Ben Badler, on Feliz:
Feliz had originally agreed to terms with the A's for $800,000 in March, but Oakland voided his contract when Feliz tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball. According to scouts who have followed Feliz this year, Feliz was regularly hitting 92-93 mph with his fastball before his positive drug test, but in more recent months has been topping out at 91 mph. Beyond pure arm strength, Feliz, who is from Azua, also has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame with feel for a curveball and a changeup.

On Montero:
Montero is another power arm with a projectable frame. The 6-foot-4 righthander from San Pedro de Macoris can pitch at 89-92 mph and has touched 93 for some scouts. Montero throws a slider and an occasional changeup, though his secondary stuff and feel for pitching isn't as refined as Feliz. Latin American sources have said the Yankees and Padres were among the other teams courting Montero.