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Reds Sign Dominican LHP Luis Tejada

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19-year-old signs for $600,000

Al Bello

Using their meager international bonus pool allotment (second-smallest in the league), the Reds' Latin scouts saw something they liked and snatched it up, signing Luis Tejada for $600,000. The 19-year-old Dominican left-hander can apparently hit the mid-90s with his fastball "in short stints" to go along with a slurve-y breaking ball and a work-in-progress changeup. His control is still a bit spotty, and Baseball America's Ben Badler seems to think his future might lie in the bullpen.

Tejada, like a few other recent international signings, is coming off an MLB-imposed one year ineligibility period after lying about his age. This has seemed to work out handsomely for Tejada, who was originally signed by the Braves for just $125,000 before the age issue came to light. During his league-imposed exile, the young lefty saw an uptick in velocity on his fastball, going from 88-92 MPH to the aforementioned mid-90s, leading to a vastly inflated signing bonus. This has actually happened with a few other recent international signings, most notably the Cardinals' highly-touted righty Carlos Martinez (who was just almost traded for Alexei Ramirez).

I assume Tejada will head to one of the low rookie leagues. The Dominican Summer League has about 25 or so games left, but since Tejada is already there he could join the squad. I'm not sure what the roster rules are like down there, so I could be very wrong.