The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed another top prospect while still in the running for Shohei Ohtani.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Angels signed Kevin Maitan this Tuesday.
The Angels have agreed to terms with infielder Kevin Maitan, who was made a free agent after MLB ruled the Braves violated rules in signing him.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) 5 de diciembre de 2017
Maitan is a former prospect of the Atlanta Braves that was let go from his contract by Major League Baseball after the league ruled that the NL team had committed various misconducts in the international market.
Olney also explained that Maitan is considered the best player that was stripped away from Braves.
Kevin Maitan, signed by the Angels today, is considered to be the best of the free agents stripped from the Braves.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) 5 de diciembre de 2017
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com also reported that the signing was for $2.2 million dollars and the deal was only pending a physical.
It is unknown if the money used on Maitan is from this year's international money, as all Braves prospects that were released can sign for money from next year.
That is a very important detail for the Angels as they are still in the running to sign the Japanese star Shohei Ohtani,
It seems likely that it is as they don't have the $2.2 million this year, only $1.5 for Ohtani.
The Venezuelan is a shortstop-third base that can switch hit for power and was ranked number 5 on the Braves farm system, at a time where it was one of the best in the MLB, on the Angels he will probably end up the #1 prospect in their farm system.
Maitan stumbled a bit in his start as a professional, but the five-tool baseball player is still there and could become a star in the Big Leagues someday.
As Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs stated, scouts became concerned with Maitan's frame as he was a lot thicker than when he first signed and didn't see him staying at SS.
When Longenhagen got to see Maitán, this is what he saw:
He had already thickened up quite a bit at that point and seemed likely to move to third base sooner than anticipated. But the bat speed, arm strength, and feel to hit were all as advertised. I left satisfied that Maitan, whom I had already projected to third base anyway, was as advertised.
The Venezuelan in his first year in the Rookie League hit for .241 with 2 homers and 18 RBIs in 42 games played between the Appalachian League and the Gulf Coast League.
Some scouts have Maitan moving to third base or even to first base with time.