Who The Phillies Are Targeting With MLB’s Top International Bonus Pool

Having the top international bonus pool is beneficial, but it doesn't offer the same level of advantage as having the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

At least five teams are going over their international bonus pools this year, with the Braves, Padres and Nationals all snapping up multiple top-level talents in the class on seven-figure deals.

The Phillies aren't one of the teams going, but they won't need to do so to be able to secure some of the top players in Latin America. At $5,610,800, the Phillies have the largest bonus pool for the upcoming 2016-17 international signing period. That's more than double what most teams have, with the bottom 15 teams all having pools between $2-$2.5 million.

Last year, the Phillies invested the majority of their pool money into one player, signing power-hitting Dominican outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz for $4.01 million. They also were able to sign Venezuelan catcher Rafael Marchan, who ranked as the No. 23 international prospect for July 2 last year, for just $200,000. Marchan got off to an auspicious start last fall in the Liga Paralela, the minor league version of the Venezuelan League, batting .362/.436/.632 with more walks (six) than strikeouts (five) over 55 plate appearances in a league where most first-year players struggle.

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