Philllies expected to sign Venezuelan prospect William Bergolla Jr.

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Philllies expected to sign top Venezuelan shortstop prospect this weekend originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Even with the game in hibernation as management and players negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, an important day on the baseball calendar will arrive this weekend.

The international signing period for prospects who have reached the age of 16 begins on Saturday.

The Phillies typically sign upward of 20 players on this day, mostly from Latin America.

While nothing is yet official, the Phils are expected to land a prime shortstop prospect out of Venezuela. Industry reports have connected William Bergolla Jr. to the Phillies for months. He is expected to command a bonus in the neighborhood of $2 million.

Bergolla is 17. MLB.com rates him as the fourth-best international prospect while Baseball America rates him eighth. Bergolla gets strong scouting grades for his offense and defense. His instincts and baseball IQ also get high marks.

Bergolla's father, William Sr., is a former middle infielder and played briefly in the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 2005.

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