Tigers turning attention to international prospects

Tigers turning attention to international prospects

DETROIT -- The latest batch of Tigers Draft picks just entered the farm system, but it's time for Detroit to stock its organizational talent once again, this time overseas. History shows the Tigers have used the international signing period to add talent as well or better than they've used the First-Year Player Draft.

This year's signing period begins Wednesday, and while the Tigers' MLB-assigned spending cap doesn't give them room for as many signings as they've had in past years, team officials appear optimistic of adding some talent in key areas.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has the Tigers showing serious interest in at least one of MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects. Dominican teenage outfielder Julio Martinez, 19th-rated on the list, projects as a big, potential power-hitting outfielder, already listed at 6-foot-3 and 183 pounds at age 16.

The Tigers annually make a handful of signings out of Venezuela, preferring to spread out their spending cap over several prospects rather than tie most of their money into one top player. Changes to the spending rules limit how much they can do, but they're still expected to land a decent crop of talent.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.