Blue Jays Sign Pair of Highly Touted International Prospects

Craig Amos@@CAABRMMAFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2012

Photo courtesy of elemergente.com
Photo courtesy of elemergente.com

With the 2012 entry draft over and done with, MLB teams are turning their collective gaze south towards Latin America. Teams are starting to snatch up the top non-North American talent available.

Under the terms of the MLB's new collective bargaining agreement, teams are limited in how much they can spend on international free agents this year. This, however, did not stop the Blue Jays from reeling in a couple of big fish. 

According to MLBtraderumors.com, Venezuelan shortstops Franklin Barreto and Luis Castro have been inked by the Jays.

Barreto is ranked as the No.2 international prospect by MLB.com, while Castro comes in at No.12. Baseball America's rankings have Barreto as the top international prospect and have Castro at No.9.

Though both recruits are shortstops right now, Barreto and Castro may each end up playing elsewhere when they begin their big league careers. Barreto projects as a shortstop or center fielder, while most scouts seem to believe Castro's future is in a corner-infield position.

But regardless of where each signed player ends up in terms of position, the acquisitions are a real boon to an already loaded Jays farm system, which includes other Latin American stars like Adeiny Hechavarria and Adonys Cardona.