One of the international prospects surrendered by the Atlanta Braves, and arguably the best of the bunch, has found a new team. It is being reported that IF Kevin Maitan has signed with the Los Angeles Angels after being declared a free agent and stripped from the Braves by MLB.
Buster Olney was the first with the report:
The Angels have agreed to terms with infielder Kevin Maitan, who was made a free agent after MLB ruled the Braves violated rules in signing him.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2017
Adding more salt to the wounds of the Braves, the signing occurred less than a week after the Angels acquired $1.21 million in international funds in a trade with Atlanta. Jesse Sanchez shared the financials of the contract, and it would seem that Maitan’s deal may have been made possible with the money from the Braves.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) December 5, 2017
Report: Kevin Maitan Signs with Los Angeles Angels
Maitan first signed with the Braves as an international free agent in the 2016 signing period. He was rated the top overall prospect for that period and has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cabrera at an early age. Maitan signed as a 16-year old SS, but that is likely not the position he will play as he gets closer to MLB. It is already expected that he will shift to a corner infield or outfield spot as his body grows and matures.
Maitan made his professional debut in 2017 and quickly made an impression. In nine games with the Gulf Coast League Braves, he had 11 hits, three doubles, three RBI, and five runs scored. He did not stay with the team long and earned a quick promotion to Danville.
He would struggle for a while at Danville, but it is again worth noting that he was participating as a 17-year old player in professional baseball. He finished the year with a slash line of .241/.290/.340 with two home runs, 18 RBI, and 15 runs scored in 42 games.
It is still way too early to begin projecting when Maitan may see MLB, but a player of his makeup does not come along every day. He has a great chance to develop into an all-star caliber player for the Angels. On the other side of things, Atlanta loses a star prospect that cost the team a chunk of money to originally sign in ’16.
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