Orioles hope for international success with new signees

Orioles hope for international success with new signees
January 30, 2014, 2:00 pm
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The Orioles are hoping to strike it big in the international market again. On Thursday, the team added two teenaged players.

They purchased 17-year-old first baseman Carlos Diaz, a left-handed hitter from the Mexico City Reds. He’s from Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico.

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Sixteen year-old third baseman Jomar Reyes from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was also signed. Reyes is 6-foot-4 and 230 lbs.

Both were the work of Fred Ferreira, the Orioles Executive Director of International Recruiting.

"Very exciting signings of mine," Ferreira said in a conference call.

Ferreira signed Miguel Gonzalez out of the Mexican League two years ago and Cuban refugee Henry Urrutia in July 2012.

Asked to compare his two new acquisitions to contemporary players, Ferreira said that Diaz reminded him of free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales while Reyes brought back memories of Clete Boyer, who was a New York Yankee third baseman in the 1960's.

Ferreira said that Diaz was a skilled first baseman and wouldn't be converted to the outfield.

"Carlos Diaz can put on quite a show in batting practice and carry that over into a game. He's not just a workout player," Ferreira sais.

Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the players will begin their professional careers at Gulf Coast.

"Fred has hit on two potential everyday players that can hit in the middle of the lineup," Duquette said.

Duquette refused to say what their signing bonuses were, but said they were "substantial." 

Ferreira said that the Orioles beat out three teams to sign Diaz and at least half a dozen to capture Reyes.

Duquette watched video of the players.

"Every time I watched Carlos Diaz hit, he got an extra-base hit," Duquette said.