The Reds signed free agent outfielder Cristian Olivo on the very first day of the international signing period. Olivo is a 16-year old left-handed batter from the Dominican Republic. The Reds inked him for a $1 million bonus. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com explained how the intentional signing period works for the Reds:
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool with four slot values based on the team’s record in 2014 for the international signing period, which started Thursday. Cincinnati’s overall pool total for this year’s signing period is $2,873,000.
Our own Doug Gray had this to say about Olivo his site Redsminorleagues.com:
Olivo is listed at 6Ã¢â‚¬Â² 2Ã¢â‚¬Â³ and 210 lbs despite being just 16-years-old, so heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s physically mature despite such a young age. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a left handed hitter with good bat speed who could develop above-average power in the future thanks to his size and bat speed. He is also an above-average runner at this point.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com had this to say about Olivo:
The left-handed-hitting, left-handed-throwing outfielder has shown average raw power, but some believe he could have plus power in the future because of his size and strength. He has also shown the ability to hit well in games, in addition to scouting showcases.
Olivo takes big swings, and he has displayed the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He has also shown his speed and the ability to run the bases aggressively in games.
The teenager trained in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, with Carlos Guzman, the same trainer as Rangers prospect Jairo Beras.
All in all, this looks like a nice signing for the Reds. At only 16-years old, it will be quite a while before Olivo will sniff the big leagues, but for a team that looks to rebuilding, Olivo could be a nice piece for the future. Here is video of Olivo, courtesy of Fangraphs.