MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Astros sign int'l OF prospect Celestino

Sources say Dominican star's bonus is for $2.25 million, plus $275,000 for college

Astros sign int'l OF prospect Celestino

The Astros have signed teenage outfielder Gilberto Celestino of the Dominican Republic. The package is worth $2.5 million, according to industry sources.

The deal for Celestino, ranked No. 7 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, includes a $2.25 million signing bonus and $275,000 for college.

In accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is allotted a $700,000 base and a bonus pool with four slot values based on the team's record in 2014 for the international signing period, which started Thursday. Houston's overall pool total for this year's signing period is $4,248,800.

Known for his athletic ability and instincts in the outfield, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Celestino is one of the most polished prospects in this year's class. He's projected to start in center field and will likely stay there as he develops because of his speed, arm and ability to get good jumps on the ball.

"Gilberto Celestino is one of the most advanced players in this year's international July 2 class," said Astros director of international Oz Ocampo. "Offensively, he is one of the best pure hitters in this class with a strong ability to hit for both average and power, and an abnormally long history of performing in games against top-level competition. He is a special defender in center field, with the body type, athleticism and instincts to be an elite center fielder. Makeup-wise, Celestino is a proven winner with tremendous work ethic, intelligence, competitive fire, and a desire to be the best. We are very excited to welcome Celestino and his family to the Houston Astros organization."

The Astros also agreed to a deals with Cuban free-agent center fielder Alejandro Garcia for $750,000 and shortstop Yeuris Ramirez for $500,000, according to industry sources.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.