Braves sign a top international prospect in shortstop Jose Perdomo

The Braves landed a premier talent as part of their haul in the international market.

On Monday, the first day of the international signing period, Atlanta agreed to terms with Jose Perdomo, a shortstop from Venezuela, and gave him a $5 million signing bonus. This bonus, a club record on the international market, is the largest for a player in this year's international class.

That $5 million is a large chunk of Atlanta's $5,925,000 bonus pool, which is how much the Braves can spend during the international signing period. Signings of $10,000 or less do not count toward this bonus pool figure.

Perdomo's bonus is the richest in the international signing period in Braves history, and according to Baseball America, the largest ever for a player born in Venezuela. Context on how much money he received compared to others, even if situations aren't comparable: In 2014, a Venezuelan outfielder named Ronald Acuña Jr. -- you might have heard of him -- received a $100,000 signing bonus from the Braves.

Perdomo is one of the top players his class. MLB Pipeline ranked Perdomo, who is 17 years old, as the No. 3 prospect for this year's international signing period.

The Braves, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, also signed Juan Espinal, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic, and gave him a $440,000 bonus.

Perdomo and Espinal received the only notable signing bonuses from the Braves in this class. They accounted for the majority of the Braves' bonus pool for this international period.

Scouts Carlos Sequera and Jesus Simancas are credited with signing Perdomo. Sequera and Carlos Perez are the signing scouts for Espinal.

The Braves haven't yet made their international signings official. The international signing period goes through Dec. 15, but the Braves will have completed most of their work by the end of Monday.

The Braves loved Perdomo's natural ability to hit, and they believe his bat is really special. Perdomo displays maturity in his approach. And his defensive ability is good enough to stick at shortstop, which they also viewed a plus. Perdomo is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds.

Perdomo could be near the top of Atlanta's list of top prospects when the dust settles. He might be the club's top position player prospect after Vaughn Grissom went to Boston in the Chris Sale trade. MLB Pipeline's top six Braves prospects are pitchers, so the system could use an infusion of bats.

The 17-year-old Espinal, who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, is seen as a physical specimen. He profiles like a slugger. His bat wasn't as complete as some others in the class, which is why he didn't receive a larger bonus. But makes enough contact for his power to be on display.

One possible under-the-radar signing: Anferni Gonzalez, a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic who signed for $60,000. He is 6-foot-4 and profiles as a starting pitcher. He turns 18 years old later this month.

In their efforts scouting Venezuela, it probably doesn't hurt the Braves that Acuña is the face of Venezuelan baseball and now is the reigning National League MVP. Younger players in his home country idolize him.

Last year, the Braves went to Venezuela for their top international signing: Outfielder Luis Guanipa received a $2.5 million signing bonus. A year later, he's the Braves' No. 10 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. They followed with Perdomo, who could be an impact bat in the future.

As it stands, Ignacio Alvarez, Atlanta's No. 7 prospect on MLB Pipeline, is the highest-rated position player in the organization's farm system. Perdomo could be ranked higher when an updated list is released this year.

For a few years, the Braves faced sanctions on the international market because of violations committed by the previous regime. This year marks their third international signing period free of restrictions, and the Perdomo signing served as a reminder that the Braves can be a force internationally.

In an interview last year, Jonathan Cruz, the Braves' director of Latin American scouting, said his team works closely with president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos. Cruz said Anthopoulos' aim is to net the top player in the international class each year.

Time will tell, but in signing Perdomo to a record bonus, the Braves signaled their aggressiveness on the international market.

Here's a list of the Braves' signees on the first day of the international signing period:

Jose Perdomo, SS, Venezuela

Juan Espinal, OF, Dominican Republic

Anferni Gonzalez, RHP, Dominican Republic

Rafael Lasorsa, LHP, Venezuela

Fernando Duarte, RHP, Venezuela

Yander Pinero, RHP, Venezuela

Noslen Marquez, RHP, Venezuela

Jorge Nunez, RHP, Venezuela

Francique Kendy, RHP, Dominican Republic

Juan Mateo, INF, Dominican Republic

Isaac Osorio, OF, Dominican Republic

Gabriel Cesa, OF, Dominican Republic

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