Kansas City Royals could go after Brazilian teenage pitcher

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore - Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore - Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

With the MLB international signing period coming on July 2nd, one of the top names will be 16 year old Brazilian pitcher Eric Pardinho. The Kansas City Royals may be in the market for him.

With the MLB Draft now in the books, teams around the league are looking to the next opportunity to find young (and cheap) talent. That takes place with the start of the international signing period on July 2nd. The Kansas City Royals have had success in that market before, and will certainly try to again. One name to watch is Brazilian 16 year old pitcher Eric Pardinho.

At first glance, many might ask how that’s even possible. The kid is only 16 years old. Well, the precedent was set way back in 1984 actually. That’s when the Toronto Blue Jays drafted a 13 year old from the Dominican Republic, Jimy Kelly. That prompted Major League Baseball to institute a rule stating an international player must be 17 by the end of his first season.

That rule has allowed a number of young players, especially from Latin America, to make their way to the major leagues. Now, Eric Pardinho looks to follow that track, and many believe he is a superstar in the making.

The Face Of Brazilian Baseball

Eric Pardinho made his name known in the World Baseball Classic. Despite being just 16 years old, only 5’10, and a mere 165 lbs, Pardinho lit up the radar gun at 95 mph. That was more than enough to get the scouts to pay attention.

Related Story: Kansas City Royals: Paulo Orlando's Future

There isn’t much history when it comes to Brazilians in baseball. In fact, there are only three players in the league’s history from Brazil. Those include Yan Gomes of the Indians, Andre Rienzo in San Diego, and (of course) Paulo Orlando of the Kansas City Royals. So it isn’t as though Eric Pardinho has a ton of competition.

Still, that shouldn’t diminish what the scouts have been seeing from this kid. 95 mph is 95 mph, I don’t care where you’re from (although, I guess it would actually by 152.9 kph in much of the world). He also has a curveball, slider, and changeup that he’s displayed for scouts at various workouts.

Related Story: Kansas City Royals: 5 Relief Pitcher To Target At Trade Deadline

Kansas City Could Use Him

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There is no doubt that Eric Pardinho would be an attractive option for the Kansas City Royals. Over the past couple of years, the Royals vaunted farm system has become a bit thin. From players being called up or sent to other organizations in trades, KC doesn’t have the huge depth they used to.

On top of that, there is no doubt that pitching is a current concern for the Royals. The Kansas City bullpen that was so dominant in 2014 and 2015 is now struggling. Kansas City has also had some trouble in getting consistently reliable performances from their starting rotation. So a prospect like Pardinho makes a whole lot of sense.

The drawback here is that there will be a lot of contention for Eric Pardinho. Nearly every team in the league is going to see value in a young pitcher who can throw 95 mph. That means Pardinho is going to be expensive. So there will be a huge decision for Dayton Moore to make. How much can he afford to allocate towards a 16 year old?

The Kansas City Royals are going to be looking to solidify their future in some way. The team appears to currently be out of the trade market, but that could still change. However, investing in their future through the international market has been a popular route in recent years. Could that include Eric Pardinho this year? Time will tell.