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Source: Houston Astros Expected to Sign International Prospect German Ramirez

Houston Astros Spring Training
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros are linked to four international prospects with the 2023 signing window scheduled to open Sunday. The latest name to join the list is 16-year-old infielder German Ramirez, who is signing with the Astros for a $1.2 million signing bonus, a source told Astros Future.

Ramirez, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound righty, posted his first pledge to the Astros on social media in May 2021. The Dominican Republic native was noted to have quick bat speed through the strike zone, thriving more with an aggressive approach at the plate. The primary shortstop was admired by scouts for his lean and athletic build, as his growth could push him to third base or to the outfield, according to Baseball America. With good hands and a strong arm, Ramirez is receiving a top-30 signing bonus.

The other three prospects the Astros are tied to are outfielder Esmil Valencia, shortstop Camilo Diaz and right-handed pitcher Ruben Menes. Valencia, a 17-year-old Dominican, adjusted well at the plate in game scenarios, driving the 6-foot, 170-pound outfielder’s value.

Baseball America projected a signing bonus in the $2 million range for Diaz, who is a 17-year-old power hitter in a filled out 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame. With impressive speed and a strong arm, the righty could stretch to third base or to the outfield as his career progresses.

Francys Romero reported July 1 that Houston was expected to sign Menes to a $700,000 signing bonus in January 2023. More than 15 Major League teams attended the Cuban righty’s showcase two weeks prior. Menes threw a 93-95 mph fastball with a slider and a changeup among his best offspeed pitches.

Major League Baseball granted the Astros a $5,284,000 signing bonus pool. These four signees could eat nearly $4.7 million of that.

Where the Astros’ Minor-League System Ranks

MLB Pipeline announced the results of its yearly executives poll Wednesday. The Astros received votes in multiple categories: uses the Draft best (received votes), plays the international market best (tied for first), most underrated system (tied for second), best develops pitchers (tied for third), best develops hitters (second) and best develops “sleeper” prospects (second).

Pitching prospect Hunter Brown was tied second in voting for the projected 2023 American League Rookie of the Year and for best secondary pitch. The righty also received votes for top pitching prospect and best future closer.

Blanco’s Reign Continues

Right-handed reliever Ronel Blanco and the Estrellas de Oriente clinched a spot in the Dominican Winter League final Wednesday. Blanco closed out a 3-2 victory over the Águilas Cibaeñas.

Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly updates on the Astros minor league system. Also be sure to follow on Twitter, @AstrosFuture, and like on Facebook, facebook.com/AstrosFuture.

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