HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have agreed to terms on a contract with international free agent center fielder Gilberto Celestino today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The announcement was made by Astros Director of International Oz Ocampo.
A right-handed hitter, Celestino (6-1, 172) is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The center fielder has an extensive history of participating in the world's top international tournaments, including the 2015 MLB International Prospect Series (Cary, N.C.), the 2014 MLB Dominican Republic National Showcase and the 15U Panamerican Games. During the 16U Prospect Wire Tournaments held in Tampa, Fla. in 2014, Celestino won multiple Most Valuable Player awards, and at the 2011 12U Cal Ripken Tournament in Aberdeen, Md., was named to the Rawlings All-Defensive Team for his play in the outfield.
Celestino is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 7 prospect among this year's international free agent class.
"Gilberto Celestino is one of the most advanced players in this year's international July 2nd class," said 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."
Celestino will report to the Astros complex in the Dominican Republic but will not appear in games until the 2016 calendar year.