Five international Pirates prospects crack BA’s top 100

The Pirates have five players on the back half of Baseball America's Top 100 international prospect signings of 2019, which was released Monday, but their new front office regime did better with the Blue Jays last year, both in terms of quantity and quality.

The Pirates had three pitchers on the top 100: RHP Christopher Cruz (the 54th ranked prospect), RHP Roelmy Garcia (84) and LHP Yojeiry Osoria (90). Shortstop Javier Rivas (61) and outfielder Ewry Espinal (64) round out the Pirates' top five players.

Cruz, Garcia, Osoria and Espinal are all 16 years old and from the Dominican Republic. Rivas is 17 and from Venezuela.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays had seven players on the top 100 list. That is notable because general manager Ben Cherington came from Toronto, as did assistant general manager Steve Sanders, who was the Blue Jays director of amateur scouting and oversaw their international prospect signings.

Headlining the Blue Jays' international prospect class are shortstops Estiven Machado (22) and Rikelvin de Castro (28).

As Baseball America notes, there is not much difference between the number 40 and number 90 prospects. Unless they are in the top 30, they are roughly the same talent level at this point of their development.

Entering 2019, the Pirates international bonus pool limit was $6,481,200, tied for the most in baseball. The Blue Jays had a budget of $5,398,300.

The Pirates raised their international spending limit $250,000 as part of the trade for Starling Marte Monday. That money will need to be spent before the next international free agent period begins on July 2 or it will be lost.

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