The A's have announced the signing of 16-year-old international prospect Robert Puason, a highly-touted shortstop from the Dominican Republic. The deal is reportedly worth around $5 million, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
Puason is ranked as the number two international prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound switch hitter is already Oakland's fourth-best prospect, according to FanGraphs, behind only Jesús Luzardo, A.J. Puk, and Sean Murphy.
"We had targeted Robert fairly early on as the top player in this class," A's assistant general manager Dan Feinstein said on a conference call. "We firmly believe that he is and we're beyond thrilled that he's going to be an Athletic."
The A's have been scouting Puason for years, enthralled by his rare combination of speed and athleticism.
"We believe he has the ability to impact the game in a number of ways," Feinstein said. "He's a dynamic, athletic, wiry, strong, switch-hitting shortstop who plays with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm."
Puason also impressed the A's with his terrific defensive ability, both fielding and throwing from the shortstop position.
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"He is really fun to watch play shortstop," Feinstein said. "He plays with such energy and emotion that it's fun to watch him pick up a ball. He's got advanced defensive capabilities now, so we would anticipate that he would be an above-average major league shortstop. He can also really throw."
Oakland signed 10 other international prospects Tuesday, including three more from the Dominican Republic, six from Venezuela, and one from Colombia. Here is the full list, as provided by the A's: