The Astros have signed Dominican outfielder Ronny Rafael, the No. 25 international prospect for July 2, for a $1.5 million bonus. His contract also includes $100,000 in college scholarship money, which won't count against Houston's bonus pool.
Rafael, 16, has a compact built (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) with impressive righthanded power, though he's still making adjustments to get to that power in games more frequently. He has a chance to start out in center field, though most teams project him as a corner outfielder, with the arm for right field. Rafael played in the International Prospect League and trained with Manaurys Munoz and Amauris Nina. Nina also had outfielders Felix Lucas ($225,000) and Bryan De La Cruz ($175,000) when they signed with Houston last year.
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