Orioles open the 2022-23 international signing period by adding 27 players

The Orioles today announced that they have opened the 2022-23 International Signing Period with 27 contract agreements, tied for the most in club history (2019-20). Highlighting the Orioles’ 2022-23 international signing class are: shortstop LUIS ALMEYDA, the highest-paid international signee in club history, shortstop JOSHUA LIRANZO, infielder JOSÉ MEJÍA, shortstop FÉLIX AMPARO, right-handed pitcher KEELER MORFE, shortstop LUIS GUEVARA, and left-handed pitcher FRANCISCO MORAO. Additionally, six more of the group are six-figure agreements. Of the 27 total agreements, 14 are from the Dominican Republic, 11 are from Venezuela, and one each from Colombia and Cuba. The signing class includes nine pitchers, eight infielders, six catchers, and four outfielders. 

Almeyda, 16, was born and grew up in New Jersey before moving to the Dominican Republic. He is ranked as the No. 17 international prospect by Baseball America and No. 20 by MLB Pipeline. He is a solid, everyday type of player who can impact the game with his combination of power and hit tools. He is short to the ball with a quick and explosive swing, flashing plus power potential. At six feet, two inches tall, Almeyda has the ball skills to play shortstop, but could move to third base as he matures. He is a solid defender with plus arm strength.

Liranzo, 16, is a shortstop from the Dominican Republic who showcases immense power with a loose swing and plus-plus bat speed. His power and hit tools give him the makings to be an everyday player capable of plus offensive production. In the field, he shows loose defensive action with good footwork and a plus arm. 

Mejía, 17, a native of the Dominican Republic, profiles as an offensive second baseman. He is regarded as one of the best hitters in the 2022-23 class. A strong fastball hitter who can see spin, he projects to have a hit tool of 60 with a chance to develop 50 power. Defensively, he is solid in the infield and makes the routine plays. A natural leader with good instincts, Mejía also speaks English, which can make for an easier transition to playing in the United States.

Amparo, 16, is a shortstop from the Dominican Republic with a chance to be a plus hitter in the future. Standing five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing in at 145 pounds, he showcases surprising pop for his frame and is an excellent fastball hitter. On the dirt, he has good feet and soft hands with superb body control and a plus arm. A plus runner, his combination of offense and speed will see him stick at shortstop. 

Morfe, a 16-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, is regarded as one of the better pitchers in the 2022-23 class. He boasts three plus pitches: a fastball that touches 95 mph with sinking action and plus command, a sharp, 81-83 mph slider with hard three-quarter rotation that is especially effective against right-handed batters, and a deceptive, 85-87 mph changeup with plus command. His pitchablity is advanced for his age and his overall makeup is impressive.

Guevara, 16, is a switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela with excellent leadoff hitter makeup. One of the better Venezuelan hitters in the 2022-23 class, he has outstanding bat-to-ball skills and a nice, easy swing through the zone from both sides of the plate. He showcases advanced hitting ability and power potential to the gaps. He is sound defensively and flows with loose, controlled movements. He projects to remain in the middle infield and shows plus arm strength. He grades out as a 65 runner who will be a threat on the basepaths.

Morao, 17, is a left-handed pitcher from Venezuela who projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. At six feet, two inches tall and 180 pounds, he has an impressive, athletic frame and a strong presence on the mound. A strike thrower, his pitch mix includes a fastball that reaches 92 mph with a lot of movement and plus life, a decent changeup that will be average in the future, and his strikeout pitch, a sharp 12-6 curveball with good rotation.

"We are thrilled to welcome these talented individuals and their families to Birdland,” said KOBY PEREZ, Orioles Senior Director, International Scouting. “Today’s announcement is tied for the most contract agreements to open the International Signing Period in Orioles history with 2019-20 – as well as the club’s highest-paid international signee, Luis Almeyda – and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff, and of course the continued support of our international efforts from Mike Elias and the Partnership Group.”

A complete list of today’s international agreements is below:

SS    Luis Almeyda                                 R/R                      4/17/2006         Dominican Republic

RHP   Xavier Alvero                                R/R                      12/1/2005         Cuba 

  SS   Félix Amparo                                R/R                      2/27/2006         Dominican Republic

  SS   Junior Aybar                                 L/R                      7/14/2006         Dominican Republic

RHP   Luis Beltrán                                  R/R                      4/6/2004          Dominican Republic

  OF   Abraham Cohen                           L/L                      6/15/2006         Venezuela

 SS   Sebastián De Los Santos               S/R                      6/16/2006         Dominican Republic

RHP   Javier González                            R/R                      9/22/2005         Colombia

  SS   Luis Guevara                                S/R                      2/6/2006          Venezuela

  OF   Raúl Leonte                                 L/L                      5/7/2006          Dominican Republic

  SS   Joshua Liranzo                             R/R                      8/25/2006         Dominican Republic

    C   Adriander Mejía                            R/R                      8/29/2006         Venezuela

INF   José Mejía                                    R/R                      9/29/2005         Dominican Republic

LHP   Francisco Morao                           L/L                      11/15/2005       Venezuela

RHP   Keeler Morfe                                 R/R                      6/9/2006          Venezuela

    C   Juan Ortega                                 R/R                      4/10/2006         Venezuela

INF   Diorky Ortiz                                  S/R                      11/15/2005       Dominican Republic

  OF   Breiny Ramírez                             L/L                      5/19/2006         Dominican Republic                 

RHP   Juan Rasquín                                R/R                      12/24/2005       Venezuela

    C   Jhonanderson Robain                   R/R                      1/14/2006         Venezuela

    C   Miguel Rodríguez                          R/R                      12/29/2005       Venezuela

  OF   Elvis Rojas                                   L/L                      9/25/2005         Dominican Republic                 

RHP   Raymond Sosa                             R/R                      5/3/2006          Dominican Republic

RHP   Rafael Suero                                R/R                      5/7/2006          Dominican Republic

    C   Omar Urbina                                R/R                      9/1/2005          Venezuela

RHP   Kevin Velasco                               R/R                      1/11/2006         Venezuela

    C   Luis Vicioso                                  R/R                      5/7/2003          Dominican Republic

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