The scramble to sign international prospects has opened and one young pitcher from Mazatlan stands to become a millionaire when the dust settles. Luis Heredia, who turns 16 in August, is a 6’4” right-hander who throws four pitches, including a 95 MPH fastball and a changeup. Former All-Star second baseman Roberto Alomar has compared Heredia to Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals.
Up to ten teams are said to be interested in the son of Hector Heredia (a pitcher for Monterrey and Yucatan in the 1980s and 1990s who spent a few years in the Dodgers system). The Toronto Blue Jays are reported to have a $2.8 million signing bonus on the table for the younger Heredia, while the Pittsburgh Pirates are said to be offering $2.5 million.
Whoever wins the bid battle for Heredia will have to wait until his 16th birthday to sign him. Unlike other Latin countries, where teenage free agents are truly “free” (to a point), Heredia’s rights in Mexico are owned by the Veracruz Rojos Aguilas, who would have to be compensated for releasing him to an MLB organization.