PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Of the 5,982 fans at Charlotte Sports Park, there was one who could potentially have a much more vested interest in the home team this summer.
Gustavo Cabrera, one of the top international amateur talents eligible to become a professional when the signing period begins on July 2, was on hand in the midst of working out for the Rays on the back fields.
The 16-year-old Dominican outfielder recently completed a tour of Florida and Arizona Spring Training sites, playing games with the Dominican Prospect League for scouts here in the United States.
"It happened previous to the DPL team getting to Florida," said DPL president and co-founder Brian Mejia, who is accompanying Cabrera on this visit, of setting up the workouts. "We arranged it through the international scouts. They said they wanted to get some extra looks. They asked if we could come after we were done in Arizona, so we put it together."
Cabrera and his five-tool potential took light batting practice on Friday with the Rays' Double-A squad (the A-level teams were on the road) and Mejia thought he held his own. He'll take BP again on Saturday, as well as showing what he can defensively in outfield drills. There's also a chance he'll run a 60-yard dash. The trip will culminate on Sunday, when Cabrera will participate in a simulated intrasquad game.
The Rays were the only team to arrange a private workout for Cabrera in the U.S. But Mejia said that "back home, we have various teams that want to get him to their academy."
It's expected Cabrera could fetch a bonus in the $1.5-2.5 million range. With the new rules for the international market, all 30 teams will have the same pool -- $2.9 million - for international signees in 2012.