Blue Jays reportedly ink International free-agent Jeury Hiciano
According to the JDB Baseball Academy, the Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly signed International free-agent pitcher Jeury Hiciano.
On March 13th the Julio Basora Baseball Academy in the Dominican Republic announced that the Blue Jays had signed right-handed pitching prospect Jeury Hiciano. As of yet, no formal announcement has been released from the club in terms of the signing.
According to the Academy, Hiciano can hit 97 MPH but will consistently sit in the mid-nineties somewhere in the 94-95 MPH range. No terms of the contract have been released but MLB teams are permitted to sign International free agents from July 01st through to June 15th depending on their respective allotted bonus money.
Dating back to July 01st, 2019 when the window opened the Blue Jays had $5,398,300 to spend on International free agents. Prior to the Hiciano signing, they had already inked 18 International free-agents while committing $1.2 million to shortstop Rikelvin de Castro and another $750,000 to Venezuelan shortstop Estiven Machado.
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I had a chance to speak with Nick Sanzeri who is a Pitching Consultant and has worked with Hiciano. Sanzeri indicated that Hiciano sits in the mid-’90s with ease with a high ceiling and room to grow that could translate into an elite arm. Hiciano has command of three pitches- fastball, slider, and a changeup and currently projects as a reliever.
Sanzeri is confident that Hiciano could compete for a starting job is he can add a curveball to his repertoire. He grades his fastball currently at a 60 but can see it quickly becoming a 70 grade in the future.
The Blue Jays continue to do their due diligence in the Dominican Republic leaving no stone unturned for talent. While Hiciano may not have been one of the top-ranked available arms, you can’t go wrong with a kid who is very raw throwing in the mid to high nineties. It is definitely worth the gamble especially considering the Jays probably did not have to break the bank to land him.