Friday, July 2, 2010

It's July 2nd...Time for the Orioles to Sign Some Talent

It's the start of the Latin American signing season and it's time for the Orioles to make some noise. They have spent the last two seasons accumulating bodies (enough to have two full teams in the DSL this summer) and now they need to add some top tier talent. There were whispers back in May that the Orioles were set to make some noise this signing season but there has been little heard from them recently.

I don't know much about the top prospects, only what I read in Baseball America. Here's the list of the top 33 players in Latin America eligible for signing.

Which guy do I like? The guy with the most power, of course. From Baseball America:

Elvis Sanchez, 3B

Sanchez, who is from La Romana, is one of the best power hitters in Latin America. After traveling to the United States in October for the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, Fla., Sanchez has worked out for teams in the U.S. this spring and made an impression in front of a hoard of scouts at the La Academia complex on June 15 by hitting a home run into the wind over the left-center field fence. He has plus to plus-plus raw power that comes from his strength and bat speed, though his stroke can get long and he has a tendency to try to muscle-up the ball with his swing....

Here's some video:

Elvis Sanchez from Kiley McDaniel on Vimeo.

Of course, ultimately I don't care who they sign. But they should get in here and sign at least one of these top 33 guys. But they have been linked to no one. Also from Baseball America:

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles haven't had much success funneling international talent to Baltimore, and their farm system is lacking in Latin American talent. There are signals they're increasing their international presence, and the club was high on Dominican shortstop Miguel Sano last year but couldn't get him signed. Baltimore could make a surprise move for a top player this year, but in a down year it might wait until a much better 2011 class to make a strike.

While it's true that it is considered a bit of a down year, couldn't that be a chance for the Orioles to get in here and pick up a bargain? A few teams aren't doing anything in Latin America this year. There should be less competition for the top guys this season.

Of course, the revelation that several of the top prospects in Latin America have tested positive for steroids may reduce the available pool. Scouting in Latin America is a dicey business that is difficult to navigate...

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