The 2024 international signing period is right around the corner, with teams eligible to sign players starting Monday, Jan. 15 and running all the way until Dec. 15. Per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have $4,652,200 in their signing pool after forfeiting $1 million for signing Trea Turner last offseason.
Before the new signing period begins, let's take a look back at the Phillies' recent top international signings and check in on where they are in the system.
Yhoswar Garcia, 2020
After signing for $2.5 million in 2020, Yhoswar Garcia ran into visa and injury issues — including a broken leg in 2022. Going into 2023, he hadn't gotten enough reps to figure things out at the plate. Before the season, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs said that Garcia looked lost at the plate.
The Venezuela native was one of the top signings of his class and has tools like plus-plus speed and above-average defense in the outfield; he just needs to develop them and hope his bat catches up.
At least Garcia did something in 2023, not that it was much. He slashed .235/.300/.324 with one home run, 22 RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 35 games in the Florida Complex League. Despite his speed, Garcia will have to figure out how to get the ball off the ground a bit more after running a 55.1 percent ground ball rate last year.
Yemal Flores, 2021
The Phillies signed outfielder Yemal Flores for $1.3 million in 2021 as their top signing that year. Unfortunately, the Dominican-born Flores hasn't been able to put it together since signing. He struggled to hit in the DSL in 2021 with a .171 average and a .623 OPS in 37 games. He didn't fare any better in 2022 in the Florida Complex League, where he hit .160 with a .549 OPS.
Repeating Rookie ball in 2023, he managed to slash .282/.417/.513 in 14 games, but that's all he played due to injury. Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs doesn't think Flores will hit enough to make an impact — at least, he didn't when he released his Phillies prospect rankings going into the 2023 season. Flores didn't even get a mention in FanGraphs' Top 26 Phillies prospect article for 2024.
NEXT: Checking in on William Bergolla and Starlyn Caba