Orioles still waiting on Cuban defector

Orioles still waiting on Cuban defector
October 27, 2012, 9:45 am
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In July, the Orioles signed Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia to a minor league contract. Because of Visa issues, they’re still waiting for him to enter the U.S.

Fred Ferreira, the Orioles’ executive director of international recruiting is hopeful that Urrutia, who’s declared residency in Haiti, will soon be able to report to Sarasota, Fla.

The 25-year-old Urrutia, who was given a bonus of $778,500 by the team, last played in Cuba in 2010, batting .397 with 12 home runs. He’s listed as 6-foot-3, 179 lbs.

Urrutia did not play in 2011 because of an unsuccessful attempt to defect.

Recently, Cuba announced plans to liberalize its immigration policy and that should make it easier for Major League Baseball to scout and sign Cuban players.

Baseball America’s scouting report on Urrutia said that could begin his professional career at Double-A and he projects as a corner outfielder who walks more than he strikes out.