A few power arms plus more catchers as international prospect rankings list concludes

Juan Nunez

It’s not necessarily the trade that keeps giving, but a deal where the Orioles seemingly did very well and that might be getting even better.

On Aug. 2, 2022, the O’s dealt righty Jorge López, their closer having a big year, to Minnesota for four pitchers. So far right-hander Yennier Cano has become a late-inning bullpen weapon while lefty Cade Povich is one of their top pitching prospects. Lefty Juan Rojas pitched in the lower minors last year and right-hander Juan Nuñez has a big fastball and leads the third day of the MASNSports.com O’s top 20 international prospect rankings.

He checks in at No. 11 after throwing in 13 games each in 2023 for Low-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen.

While he did not win a game – going 0-6 with a 3.96 ERA – Nuñez has shown a good strikeout rate and enough potential to rank 14th on this list and to currently rank No. 22 by Baseball America on the O’s team top 30 list.

Nuñez pitched a combined 104 2/3 innings in 2023 with 58 walks, 125 strikeouts, a .220 average against and 1.36 WHIP. He posted a 10.75 K rate last year and that number is 11.18 for his career, spanning 201 innings.

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Almeyda heads up large O's international class (updated)


The Orioles have announced a large international amateur signing class today of 27 players headed by shortstop Luis Ayden Almeda, age 16, from the Dominican Republic. Almeyda’s signing bonus is $2.3 million, per MLB.com, the largest ever given an international amateur by the Orioles. He becomes the club’s first international signee with a bonus exceeding $2 million.

Last year’s top signee, outfielder Braylin Tavera, did have that distinction until today, signing for a $1.7 million bonus to head up the class announced last January.

Almeyda sets an O’s record and becomes the fourth player to sign for $1 million or more under the regime of executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and senior director of international scouting Koby Perez. In the 2021 class, they signed catcher Samuel Basallo for $1.3 million and shortstop Maikol Hernandez for $1.2 million.

“I’m very excited and blessed,” Almeyda told MASNsports.com in his first one-on-one interview as an Oriole. “I am ecstatic to start out with this organization and develop as a ballplayer and a man as well.

“It really wasn’t a tough decision. I had my mindset on this team from the start since they started with me. I know that they have one of best farm systems in the minor leagues or maybe the best farm system in the minor leagues. You know, I’m just excited to get on this journey.”

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