Colombian outfielder Bryan Emery, the No. 23 international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Yankees.
Emery, 16, was the last available player from Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects list for July 2, and the signing gives the Yankees 10 of those top 30 players.
Emery is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a loose swing from the left side. He had been switch-hitting, though he’s hit exclusively lefthanded in recent months. He’s strong and generates easy, explosive power, though leading up to July 2, there were mixed reviews about his game hitting, partly because of his environment. Emery trained with Ivan Noboa, the same trainer who brokered an international amateur record $4.95 million bonus for Dominican outfielder Nomar Mazara with the Rangers in 2011, and scouts frequently lament that they can’t get enough game looks at Noboa’s players. Some scouts who have seen him recently have seen better game performance, with a simplified hitting approach and a cleaner setup that helped him stay more direct to the ball. Emery’s athletic for his size, has a strong arm and has worked out for clubs in the infield and the outfield, but he fits best in right field, where he will begin his career.
While the bonus for Emery was not confirmed, it will essentially cost the Yankees double the bonus to sign him. The organization spent record money on international amateur bonuses this year to go well beyond their bonus pool, which means they are paying a 100 percent overage tax on all their signings and won’t be allowed to sign anyone for more than $300,000 the next two signing periods, beginning July 2, 2015.