Major League Baseball's international signing window opened Tuesday, and the White Sox quickly struck by landing one of the top players on the market.
Dominican Republic native Micker Adolfo Zapata, 16, received a $1.6 million signing bonus from the White Sox, the largest ever given by the franchise for an international signing. The 6-foot-3, 225 pound outfielder was rated as the No. 2 international prospect by MLB.com and No. 9 by Baseball America.
“Micker is a terrific young man who is tremendously talented,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday from the Dominican Republic. “As we’ve gotten to know Micker and his family, we’ve been even more and more impressed. We cannot say enough about his baseball potential and his future with the White Sox.”
Zapata was recommended to the White Sox by special assistant to the GM for international operations Marco Paddy, who has been key in turning around the team's Latin American presence since joining the organization in 2011. Baseball America's Ben Badler reported last week the White Sox were closing in on Zapata, and was the first to report Tuesday the team had signed him.
“Adolfo Zapata has impressed everyone over the last year with his makeup and approach to the game,” Paddy said. “His raw tools and natural strength immediately grab your attention, and his power displays can be jaw-dropping.”
“Marco deserves a great deal of credit for scouting and signing Micker,” Hahn said. “Marco spent the time building a really strong relationship with Micker and a great rapport with his family. Today’s signing reinforces our expanding commitment as an organization to scouting and signing top young, talented players from Latin America.”
MLB.com has video of Zapata, embedded below: