International Free Agent tracker: Blue Jays add six Venezuelans and an intriguing Brazilian pitcher

One of the year’s best days is here, as we’ve officially started the International Free Agency period.

As more signings become announced, I’ll create a new section for each player. Let’s start with the big fish of the class.
Enmanuel Bonilla
It was announced on Sunday morning that the Blue Jays have officially signed Enmanuel Bonilla, a top prospect in the 2023 IFA class.

Source: #BlueJays agree to a $4.1 million deal with OF Enmanuel Bonilla, #7 on Top 50 Int’l Prospect list. The team has not confirmed.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 15, 2023

Ranking as Blue Jays Nation’s 20th-best prospect, Bonilla has an intriguing hit tool and some of the best power in the class. Moreover, he may have the tools to stick in centre field as he’s rather athletic and has a strong arm, but he could move to a corner outfield, likely right field.
The 16-year-old ranked as MLB Pipeline’s seventh-best available prospect in their Top 50 international ranking for 2023l. Fangraphs ranked him as their 11th-best prospect, while Baseball America ranked him as their fourth-best available prospect.
Per Jesse Sanchez, he signed for $4,100,000, meaning that the Jays have $1,184,000 remaining in bonus pool money.
Update #1:
The signing on Enmanuel Bonilla was to be expected, but below is a list of the first batch of prospects that have officially signed.

Add C Juan Rosas 🇵🇦to the list
— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) January 15, 2023

Sports Illustrated’s Mitch Bannon was the first to tweet this out, and it was officially confirmed by the team on Sunday afternoon.
Andersson Barvosa:
With a lot of these guys, scouting reports are going to be nearly impossible to find. However, I got pretty lucky and found some video, as you can watch below.

Andersson Barvosa from 2021.
Courtesy of Bendecidos Sport on Facebook.#BlueJays
— Brennan …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

What should the Maple Leafs’ next goal song be?

What should the Maple Leafs’ next goal song be?

It’s been four years since the Maple Leafs began using Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True” as their goal song and it’s finally time to send it to the stratosphere.
That means, it’s change Toronto’s goal song o’clock.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy “You Make My Dreams Come True” just as much as everyone else, but sometimes change can be good. Sometimes, change can make different outcomes possible — maybe even the opposite of a first round exit.
There is criteria, though, for a brand new song. It has to be fast, loud, and able to get the fans going when the Maple Leafs put the puck into the back of the net. It would also be a plus if the artist was Canadian, however it’s not required.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, nor should it be a song any NHL team has used in the past — it needs to be one of their own. One that fits the Maple Leafs’ brand.
So, here are my three picks:
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) – Fall Out Boy

We begin with this song because, well, listening to it can get you incredibly hyped up first of all
Secondly, if you move the play cursor to the 50 second mark, you can hear them sing the “Light Em Up” portion, which is where the goal song would begin when the Maple Leafs score. “Light Em Up” also specifies that Toronto is scoring against the opposition, and that seems like the perfect fit.
Of all the songs on the list, this one might just be the perfect fit for the Maple Leafs.
Years In The Making …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

TLN Prospect #4: Roni Hirvonen makes life difficult for his opponents

Roni Hirvonen is just 20 years old, he’s currently starring for Team Finland at the World Juniors, and yet he already has three seasons of professional hockey under his belt. Maturity has been the name of the game for Hirvonen since his draft year and is a major reason why he became a Liiga regular at just 17 years old.
Coming into the 2021-22 season, Hirvonen was looking to take the next step as a player. While he showed flashes in his DY+1 campaign, particularly at the 2021 World Juniors, he failed to take a notable step offensively and had somewhat stagnated in the Ässät system.
A move to HIFK and a full-time shift to the left wing was just what Roni Hirvonen needed to spark that uptick in performance, bumping him up two spots on the TLN Prospect Rankings and reinforcing the middle-six potential that made him a second-round pick in 2020.
Roni Hirvonen
LW | HIFK (Liiga) | Age: 20 | 5-foot-9 | 172 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2020 Draft, 59th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #6
While beginning his Liiga career with Ässät was a benefit given the ice-time and opportunity to play at the professional level, it showed its negatives in Roni Hirvonen’s DY+1 season. Playing on a team that finished fourth from the bottom of the Liiga standing …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

TLN Prospect Rankings: Which “no vote” player could surprise us?

When I look back on all the years we’ve been doing prospect rankings at TLN, the name that sticks out the most as a player we were consistently wrong on was Pierre Engvall. The first four years Engvall was with the Leafs organization he didn’t crack our top 20 before finally jumping straight to #9 on the rankings in 2018 after a strong debut with the Marlies and an impressive year in the SHL. Some players are late bloomers, projects, or simply are being developed towards a niche role that might not show up well in their early days.
So it’s in that spirit I’ve asked the group which of the players that went unranked by all of us this year do we have some excitement about? Who could be a sleeper for the top 20 next year?
Nick Barden: Pavel Gogolev
I’m going to have to say Pavel Gogolev. He began his tenure in the organization back in February of 2021 and really burst onto the scene. Scoring 12 points in 13 games during his first …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation