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Marlins announce 10 international free agent signings

Jhonny Melenciano, Raul Campos inked on July 2 as team takes a deliberate approach to the 2018-19 signing period.

Outfielder Jhonny Melenciano
Photo courtesy of JDB Baseball

The 2018-19 international signing period didn’t exactly open with a bang for the Marlins. A new batch of Latin American amateur players became eligible to turn pro on Monday, and most of the coveted ones committed to their teams that same morning. Marlins top target right-hander Sandy Gaston did not follow suit.

But in the meantime, they did finalize deals with 10 other prospects (all of them teenagers).

The new additions include pitchers Erick Carrasco, Breidy Encarnacion, Luis Lopez and Jorge Mercedes; and position players Raul Campos, Isaac De Leon, Ene Leon, Jhonny Melenciano, Cristhian Rodriguez and Yoelvis Sanchez. Lopez is from Panama while Leon and Rodriguez are Venezuelan. The other seven come from the Dominican Republic.

Here is the team’s full release with a statement from director of international operations Fernando Seguignol:

Marlins Communications

Campos has a dramatic background story, as detailed by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. He and his brother Roberto defected from Cuba two years ago during the championship game celebration of a youth baseball tournament.

Raul Campos (right) from 2016 at age 14.

Melenciano signed for $200,000, although dollar amounts for most of the others haven’t been reported yet.

Regardless, the Marlins have more than $6 million to spend during this signing period, and it’s believed the majority of that bonus pool is still available. It would make for a successful 2018-19 class if they bring aboard Gaston and outfielder Víctor Víctor Mesa (who’s still waiting to be recognized as a free agent by Major League Baseball).