Baltimore Orioles Sign Newest Crop of International Prospects
On Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles announced the signing of a bevy of Latin American amateur free agents.
Since Mike Elias and co. came to Baltimore, one thing changed from previous regimes: the international prospects. In 2019, the Orioles added 27 players, the most in franchise history, and matched that number this year. The O's signed prospects from the Dominican Republic (14), Venezuela (11), Colombia (1) and Cuba (1). The Orioles currently have six international prospects on their top 30 list: C Samuel Basallo (#12), INF Cesar Prieto (#18), SS Frederick Bencosme (#25), SS Maikol Hernandez (#27), OF Braylin Tavera (#28) and SS Leandro Arias (#29).
The headliner from this class is SS Luis Almeyda, from Dominican Republic. He was ranked #16 on Baseball America and #20 on MLB Pipeline. From his report from MLB Pipeline: "He runs well for his size and has a chance to be a five-tool player if he continues to develop. As with many large middle infielders, there’s a chance Almeyda will outgrow shortstop and eventually move to third base, but the adjustment to a new position should not be a problem."
The 16-year old signed for $2.3 million dollars per MLB, a record for an Orioles international prospect. Almeyda said in a interview with MASN insider Steve Melewski: “I’m very excited and blessed. I am ecstatic to start out with this organization and develop as a ballplayer and a man as well."
The other big bonuses awarded by the the Orioles were to SS Joshua Liranzo ($500k) and RHP Keeler Morfe ($250k). A curiosity: the catcher Luis Vicioso is the younger brother of Jorge Mateo, current Orioles shortstop.
To know more about the 2022-23 international class, check on Orioles Player Development on Twitter to see more about the newcomers.