Sánchez, Martínez, García, Nuel head up O's latest class of international signings (updated)

With catcher Samuel Basallo now ranked as the club’s No. 2 prospect by Baseball America and with MLBPipeline.com ranking seven O’s international prospects among the club’s top 28 prospects already, the Orioles unveiled a new international signing class today.

The class of 19, per the O’s announcement, is headed up by shortstop Emilio Sánchez, outfielder Stiven Martínez, shortstops Elvin García and Jemone Nuel, right-handed pitcher Yaki Mondesir, outfielder Ángel García and right-hander Esteban Mejía.

Sánchez, 16, was born in San Juan De La Maguana, Dominican Republic, and agreed to a bonus of $1.3 million, per various sources. That is the fifth bonus of $1 million or more the club has handed out to an international amateur since 2021. It ranks as tied for third-most in dollars by the club under the Mike Elias front office. The highest bonus was the $2.3 million by infielder Luis Almeyda last Jan. 15 and outfielder Braylin Tavera signed for $1.7 million in 2022. Basallo also got $1.3 million when he signed on Jan. 15, 2021.

Sánchez is ranked 30th by MLBPipeline.com and No. 31 by Baseball America, which lists prospects by bonus amount. He gets 50 tool grades across the board via MLBPipeline but a 55 for his hit tool. He is considered to have a solid approach with good bat speed. The O’s report says he has a chance to be an everyday player capable of plus offense with average defense. He will begin his career at shortstop but could move to third base as he physically matures and gets stronger.

Martínez, 16, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic, signed for a bonus of $950,000. The O’s believe he has the potential to be a five-tool player. He is ranked as the No. 28 international prospect by MLB Pipeline, where he gets 50 grade tools across the board except a 55 for his power. He carries a plus arm and big raw power and is one of the youngest players in this class. Defensively, Martínez has a very strong arm with proper mechanics and an on-line carry. Some scouts project him as a corner outfielder.  

Elvin García, 16, a native of Mao, Dominican Republic, agreed to a bonus of $500,000. He has a large frame with a lot of space to fill out, making for excellent body projection. Offensively, the O’s say he has a short swing with good bat speed and carries a solid approach at the plate. He is a line-drive type of hitter with the ability to hit the ball to the opposite field.  

Nuel, 16, is a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic with Jamaican descent, who profiles as an everyday player. His bonus was also $500,000. He is a solid hitter who possesses great bat-to-ball skills, shows good feel for the barrel and sees spin well. He is an advanced hitter for his age and has line-drive power that will help produce extra-base hits and is a plus runner.

Mondesir, a 17-year-old right-hander from San Pedro De Macorís, Dominican Republic, is someone who can throw the ball very hard. He throws a four-seam fastball that can currently touch 94 mph with a powerful curveball that gets swings and misses. He adds a changeup that can improve to be average in the future and has the chance to be a big arm coming out of the bullpen with a strong fastball and curveball combination.

Ángel García, 17, is an outfielder out of Venezuela with the potential to be an everyday player. He is a power-first bat with the strength and focused approach for 14 to 20 homers if things break right. García is currently an above-average runner who posted 70 run times. He projects to be better suited for a corner outfield spot as he fills out.

Mejía, 16, is a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic who projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. He currently sits in the mid-to-upper 90’s and features a three-pitch mix. He will have plenty of power and pitch ability in the future, with the ability to hit 100 mph. Mejía throws plenty of strikes and competes with great mound presence, according to the club.

"It is very exciting for me to welcome these talented individuals and their families to Birdland,” said Koby Perez, Orioles vice president, international scouting and operations. “We feel very good about the players, and more importantly the individuals, that we were able to bring into our organization this signing period. These efforts are only made possible through the diligence and commitment of our staff, and of course the continued support of our international operations from Mike Elias and the partnership group.”

The O’s and five other teams have a pool amount of $7,114,800 to sign international amateurs, the largest pools among all major league clubs. The O's bonuses for their top four signees is a total of $3.25 million. 

Of the 19 players signed today, 13 are from the Dominican and six from Venezuela. There is one lefty pitcher, three right-handers, seven infielders, six outfielders and two catchers.


POS NAME                         B/T      DATE OF BIRTH      COUNTRY

C Christian Astudillo            R/R         6/13/2007         Venezuela

OF Anthwan Brea               R/R         2/22/2007         Venezuela

SS Héctor Campusano        S/R         4/24/2007         Dominican Republic

3B Frainner Chirinos           R/R        2/1/2007            Venezuela

OF Enmanuel Corniel          L/R        12/16/2006        Dominican Republic

RHP Luis Espinoza              R/R       12/11/2006        Venezuela

OF Ángel García                 R/R       11/13/2006        Venezuela

SS Elvin García                   S/R       1/18/2007         Dominican Republic

C Juan Adames García         R/R      9/2/2006          Venezuela

3B Saúl Gómez                  R/R       7/27/2007         Dominican Republic

OF Stiven Martínez            R/R       8/8/2007           Dominican Republic

RHP Esteban Mejía           R/R        3/7/2007           Dominican Republic

RHP Yaki Mondesir           R/R        9/8/2006           Dominican Republic

SS Jemone Nuel              S/R        1/3/2007           Dominican Republic

OF Alexander Rincón        L/L       9/16/2006          Dominican Republic

SS Emilio Sánchez           L/R       4/13/2007          Dominican Republic

LHP Víctor Santos           L/L       4/19/2007          Dominican Republic

OF Argenis Valdez          R/R      1/15/2007          Dominican Republic

SS Cleudis Valenzuela    L/R       11/9/2006          Dominican Republic

Click here for a look at Sánchez, the top signee, courtesy of the Orioles. 

On a zoom call with the media, Perez expressed his excitement about this class: “This is a great beginning to the New Year and a new stage to the Orioles international program. As you know, we are opening up our state-of-the-art academy tomorrow and we are super excited about it. We think it will be very beneficial to the Orioles to continue to infuse new blood and new talent to the organization."

More on the recruitment of Sánchez and Martínez: “Today we signed them, but we’ve been watching these kids for two or three years. Our scouts do a fantastic job, I can’t say enough. As far as Sánchez, all of our scouts saw him, we even had amateur scouts from the USA. Donovan O’Dowd came down and gave his evaluation. We also had Ken Guthrie come down, he is one of our scouts in Texas who signed Jackson Holliday and Heston Kjerstad, among others, so we really value those evaluations on Sánchez. We scouted him and stayed on him and were able to get him to sign with the Orioles.

“As far as Stiven Martínez is concerned, we had tough competition with other teams for him. We were able to sell him on our opportunity and thankfully he chose us. He was a little bit of a later interest because he was very tough to see. We are excited to have him."

On reports that Martínez was looking hard at another team or teams but wound up as an Oriole: “We were talking to him three years ago, but then he kind of disappeared a little bit and we assumed that he was off the market. And then his name started coming back out and our scout Francisco Rosario did a great job and we saw he was now available. We did our due diligence with the family and the agent and we sold him on the opportunity here with the Orioles and what we have done with player development. We were able to have him and his family and his agent excited to sign with us. Those talks came about three or four months ago."  

Perez said the Orioles still have over $2 million remaining in their bonus pool to sign more players later. 

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