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Brewers sign Dominican outfielder Pena

Brewers sign Dominican outfielder Pena

MILWAUKEE -- Thursday marked the beginning of baseball's international signing period, and the Brewers made a splash by coming to terms with outfielder Jose Pena, a highly-regarded 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic.

Brewers amateur scouting director Bruce Seid confirmed the deal before boarding a return flight to the U.S. He would not discuss Pena's reported $400,000 signing bonus, which would be short of the club-record bonus for an international player that went to right-hander Rolando Pascual in 2005. Pascual received $710,000.

The Brewers also came to terms with 17-year-old Dominican right-hander Jean Capellan, Seid said. It's believed that Capellan received a five-figure bonus.

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The team is also being "aggressive" toward signing several other Latin American prospects, Seid said. When it's all said and done, Pena will be the highest-profile International pickup.

"It's official. He signed," Seid said. "We're real happy that we got Jose Pena. We've been watching him for some time and had him at a couple of workouts, and [Brewers general manager] Doug Melvin was down here and saw him. We've been really able to cover the bases on Jose Pena."

Some steps remain. Pena must pass a physical, plus Major League Baseball's official background check that verifies players' ages. Pena just turned 16 in March, and Seid expected no problems in that process.

Pena, 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, is a right-handed hitter described by Seid as a polished hitter with power and projectability.

"He's a great 'makeup' kid," Seid said. "He's someone who looks you in the eye and takes instruction well. Overall, the package is good in terms of ability, power, athleticism and makeup."

Capellan is a right-hander who reaches 92 mph with his fastball and features a hard breaking ball.

"He has an aggressive mound presence," Seid said. "I liked what I saw from him. He wasn't considered a top-tier prospect, but to our organization, he's got potential to do something from a pitching standpoint."

Both Pena and Capellan will probably begin their professional careers at the Brewers' new facility in the Dominican Republic. They coopted an academy beginning this spring with the Orioles.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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