The Blue Jays will be dipping their toes in the top end of the international free agent market once again.
At the start of 2022, Prospects Live’s Joe Doyle noted that the Blue Jays were expected to sign Enmanuel Bonilla, a 16-year-old outfielder.
Well on Thursday, Baseball America released their top 20 international prospects for the 2023 season. Bonilla from the Dominican Republic ranks as their fourth ranked prospect.
Per the site, Bonilla has great bat speed and can hit a fastball. As he continues to grow (he stands as 6’2, 190), it’s very possible he could hit his fair share of homers as he moves up the minors.
He’s a plus runner with a strong arm, which may allow him to stick in centre. However, Baseball America predicts he’ll move into right field.
It’s expected that Bonilla will sign a bonus around $4 million. The last time the Blue Jays spent this much in the International Free Agent market was in 2018, when they signed Orelvis Martinez to a $3.5 million bonus.
The Blue Jays have had a lot of success on the IFA, both with signing big names such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Orelvis Martinez, along with under the radar signing such as Alejandro Kirk, Otto Lopez and Gabriel Moreno.
It’ll be seen whether or not Bonilla develops into a top prospect, but he definitely has the potential to get there.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’d argue that the weakest position in the organization is outfield, so getting a highly touted outfielder is a good start.