Mets Sign Venezuelan SS Luis Carpio

Luis Carpio SigningYesterday, on his 16th birthday, the Mets signed Luis Carpio, a Venezuelan shortstop for $300,000. That’s a pretty good birthday.

Good job by Ben Badler at Baseball America, who had the Mets as “front-runners” to sign Carpio leading up to the signing period.

An excerpt from Badler’s report:

His tools and skills have continued to improve as July 2 approaches and he’s still 15, so some scouts see him as one of the more underrated prospects in Latin America. Carpio stands out more against live pitching than in batting practice, showing good bat control and pitch recognition, with a level swing that allows him to make a lot of contact. He’s not a big home run threat, with a swing that produces more line drives than power.

Carpio has improved his strength, bat speed and running times. He ran the 60-yard dash in 6.8 seconds in January, but multiple clubs have clocked him at 6.6 seconds recently. He’s at least a plus runner under way, though he doesn’t have a quick first step and doesn’t get out of the box quickly. He is a good athlete who will start his career at shortstop but may end up at second base or center field. His hands are solid, but his footwork needs improvement, and he has a fringe-average arm.

Scouts describe Carpio as a scrappy gamer whom managers will love because he plays hard and does a lot of things well.