Venezuelan lefthander Jose Castillo, a 16-year-old who ranks as the sixth-best international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Rays for $1.55 million. The bonus is a record for a Venezuelan amateur lefthander, eclipsing the $1.5 million the Rangers spent on Yohander Mendez last year on July 2.
Castillo is 6-foot-4, 200 pounds and has impressed scouts with his delivery and power arm. He is represented by Felix Olivo, who also has represented Mariners catcher Jesus Montero and Rangers lefthander Martin Perez since they were amateurs. Baseball America subscribers can read Castillo’s complete scouting report.
Castillo is the third Top 20 international prospect for July 2 the Rays have signed since the international signing period opened on Monday. The Rays also signed Venezuelan righthander Jose Mujica, the No. 3 international prospect, for $1 million. He and Castillo were the two best pitchers available in Latin America. The Rays also agreed to a deal with Venezuelan catcher David Rodriguez, the No. 14 international prospect, who along with Mujica also trained at the academy run by former major leaguer Carlos Guillen.
Castillo's bonus so far is the second-highest confirmed bonus among July 2 prospects, behind only Dominican shortstop Amed Rosario ($1.75 million to the Mets).
See also: Top 20 International Prospects Tracker
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