Neivy Pilier, a 16-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic, has signed with the Nationals for $225,000.
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Pilier has a quick bat with lift and occasional power in his righthanded swing, though he's at his best when he stays with a line-drive approach and uses the middle of the field. He has a strong arm that fits well at third base, though with his youth and size he's still trying to improve his footwork. Pilier didn't turn 16 until Aug. 1, so he was one of the younger players among those who became eligible to sign this year.
Pilier is from Santo Domingo, played in the Dominican Prospect League and trained with Christian Batista, who is known in the Dominican Republic as "Niche." Last year the Nationals awarded their top international bonus of the year ($150,000) to outfielder Randy Novas, who also trained with Batista. This year his program also produced Giants outfielder Gustavo Cabrera ($1.3 million) and Tigers shortstop Domingo Leyba ($400,000).
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