The Orioles announced their latest international signing this afternoon, 16-year-old outfielder J’Rudjeanon Isenia out of Curaçao.
The agreement on a $125,000 bonus was reported back in late August, but now it’s official.
The club provided the following statement from director of player development Brian Graham, who’s handling the day-to-day duties in baseball operations on an interim basis:
“Isenia is a right-handed-hitting outfielder with above average tools and a good swing. He is a very coachable young player who we look forward to developing.”
Scout Calvin Maduro was present for the signing of Isenia, whose name is pronounced “ROOD-juh-nawn EE-señ-ya.”
Last week, the Orioles announced the signings of 19-year-old Dominican right-hander Kelvin LaRoche, 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Kevin Infante, 17-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Angel Gomez and 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Gilbert Machado. Infante received a $175,000 signing bonus, the highest among the four players.
Outfielder Damian Valdez, a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, received a $200,000 bonus in August.
Prior to Valdez, the Orioles reached agreements with infielder Moises Ramirez, 16, and right-hander Carlos del Rosario, 19, out of the Dominican Republic. Ramirez was given a $225,000 bonus.
They also landed Isaac Bellony, a 16-year-old switch-hitting outfielder out of the Dominican who was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Bellony received a $220,000 bonus and he was involved in the first official announcement by the Orioles of any international amateur signing since the new period went into effect on July 2.
Other signings are possible before the international signing bonus money disappears on June 15, 2019. A reset comes the following month.
Asked about the importance of having a presence in the international market, former manager Buck Showalter replied, “I’d say two words: Jon Schoop.”
“It’s exciting for us,” he added. “It’s not like we haven’t signed anybody, but just look around the rosters of baseball, it’s pretty obvious. Just watch All-Star games, just do the percentages. It’s obvious that that’s a part of the industry that you need to be involved with if you can.”
The Orioles will increase an under-staffed international scouting department after making the necessary front office hires.