A look at the players expected to head up the next O's international signing class

The Orioles' continued strong pursuit of international amateur talent will culminate on Jan. 15 with the announcement of the club’s latest international signing class. The O’s are expected to sign around 20 in this class.

According to an industry source, the class will be headed up by 16-year-old shortstop Emilio Sanchez from the Dominican Republic and 16-year-old outfielder Stiven Martinez of the Dominican Republic. In a recent article listing players ranked by expected signing bonus amounts, Baseball America linked both of these players to the Orioles, with Sanchez at No. 31 and Martinez No. 42 via expected bonus amount.

MASNsports.com has learned that Sanchez is expected to sign for just over $1 million and Martinez at just under $1 million. A source indicated that 16-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Elvin Garcia from the Dominican Republic is expected to get the third-highest O’s bonus in this class of around $500,000.  

In their last three signing classes, the Orioles signed four players to bonuses of $1 million or more. The tops on the list, shortstop Luis Almeyda, signed on Jan. 15, 2023 for $2.3 million. The O’s signed outfielder Braylin Tavera for $1.7 million on Jan. 15, 2022. On Jan. 15, 2021, they signed catcher Samuel Basallo for $1.3 million and shortstop Maikol Hernandez for $1.2 million.

It appears that Sanchez will then come next, fifth on this list of biggest bonuses since executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias took over running the club’s baseball’s operations and hired Koby Perez, who is now the club’s vice president of international scouting and operations.

Basallo is now the shining star of the O’s international program, ranked as the club’s No. 2 prospect by Baseball America and as a consensus top 100 prospect. It is an international program that produced four players ranked among the top 20 prospects this year in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League by Baseball America. Last September, the Orioles had seven players taken in the Dominican Winter League draft, led by Basallo, a first-round pick.

And now more international talent is on the way and will be officially announced in just over a week.

“We feel good about this upcoming class,” Perez told me at the recent Winter Meetings in Nashville. “We feel like we’re going to have a couple of players that are publicly ranked in the signing class. And there are other guys, maybe not publicly ranked, but that we value highly as we have in the past. We’re excited and can’t wait to Jan. 15 to get these guys under wraps.”

Baseball America notes that Sanchez blends a good mix of hitting ability and power from the left side. One report indicated Sanchez was a solid defender who runs well. He shows some ability in all five tools.

Martinez has big raw power and a strong arm, according to reports, and is expected to be a bigger player probably limited to the corners in the outfield on defense. Garcia runs very well and plays solid defense with his hit tool ahead of the power tool at this point.  

The Orioles have a total pool of $7,114,800 to sign international players in this class. The signing period runs through Dec. 15, 2024. The O’s join the Diamondbacks, Guardians, Pirates, Rockies and Royals with the largest signing pools among all major league clubs.

Orioles still have arbitration work to do
Submitting some early Orioles predictions

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/