7/10/2014 2:16 P.M. ET
Brewers lock up star international prospect Lara
Shortstop ranked No. 4 among international free agents, signs for $3.1 million
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
The Brewers didn't just break a club record for an international amateur signing.
They obliterated it.
On Thursday, the club signed with teenage shortstop Gilbert Lara, who is ranked No. 4 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, for $3.1 million.
"This is a major step to show the expanded and serious nature of our involvement in Latin America," said president of baseball operations and general manager Doug Melvin. "Gilbert is a top talent that we are all very excited about. Tom Flanagan [senior director of baseball operations], Eduardo Brizuela [director of Latin America operations/scouting] and Manny Batista [director of Latin America scouting] worked very hard throughout the process."
Milwaukee's previous record for an amateur international signee was set last year, when Dominican 16-year-olds Franly Mallen and Nicolas Pierre received $800,000 each.
In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool based on the team's record in 2013 for the international signing period. Milwaukee's bonus pool total for this year's signing period is $2,611,800.
Lara, 16, is a good hitter with raw power, but he can appear out of control at times. The shortstop starred in the multiple prospect leagues in the Dominican Republic and built a reputation as a quiet but focused teenager with a big body.
From San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, Lara sometimes struggles with breaking balls and other offspeed pitches, but he's expected to improve with experience. He could end up at third base or in right field.