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Detroit Tigers spread maximum bonus pool to sign 4 top international prospects

Venezuelan catcher Enrique Jimenez signs a contract to join the Detroit Tigers on January 15, 2023.

The Detroit Tigers signed four top prospects on the first day of the 2023 international signing period, which began Sunday: Venezuelan catcher Enrique Jimenez, Dominican Republic outfielder Cristian Perez, Venezuelan outfielder Anibal Salas and Venezuelan shortstop Maikol Orozco.

The highest-ranked prospect of the quartet is Jimenez. The 17-year-old switch-hitter finished at No. 32 on MLB Pipeline’s top-50 list and No. 32 on Baseball America’s top-50 list.

He received a $1.25 million signing bonus for his professional contract, according to sources. The Tigers entered the international signing period, which ends Dec. 15, with a bonus pool of $6,366,990.

They’re one of eight teams with the maximum bonus pool.

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Venezuelan catcher Enrique Jimenez signs a contract to join the Detroit Tigers on January 15, 2023.

From an all-around standpoint, Jimenez is known for his athleticism, sharp makeup and baseball instincts. He is considered an excellent game caller, even as a teenager, while his blocking, framing, receiving and footwork skills develop. Simply put, he takes advantage of the sometimes overlooked details to help his team win.

On offense, he knows how to put the ball in play and hits the ball hard. His power typically comes from the right side of the plate.

Jimenez is the fifth-best catcher in the 2023 international class, according to MLB Pipeline, behind Ethan Salas (No. 1 overall, San Diego Padres), Alfredo Duno (No. 4 overall, Cincinnati Reds), Daiverson Gutierrez (No. 27, New York Mets) and Carlos Silva (No. 31, Minnesota Twins).

The Tigers also signed Venezuelan catcher Johan Estrada, an unranked prospect, for a $158,000 signing bonus and Venezuelan catcher Nelson Marin, another unranked prospect, for an unknown bonus.

Estrada is a defense-first catcher, while Marin is an offense-first catcher.

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The Tigers signed Perez, who turns 17 in mid-August, for a $1.1 million signing bonus. He is ranked No. 48 by MLB Pipeline (No. 38 by Baseball America). The right-handed hitting outfielder has trained under Cristian “Niche” Batista in the Dominican Republic.

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