A lefty pitcher emerges at No. 2 as O's international prospect rankings list continues

Luis De Leon courtesy of the Delmarva Shorebirds

Today, as we continue to rollout the MASNSports.com top 20 O’s international prospects, we find out yet again that teams can get big talents sometimes out of modest signing bonuses.

Some players sign late in the process as late bloomers and beyond that, it is just hard to project what someone at age 16 will look like and play like three, four, and six years down the road.

It is also quite exciting to see a pitcher ranked so highly now on this list as left-hander Luis De León, age 20, is the No. 2 prospect on the list for 2024.

He was signed by the club for just $30,000 in December of 2021 out of Barahona, Dominican Republic. He had an ERA of 5.14 in 28 innings in 2022 in the Dominican Summer League.

But last year, over six games in the rookie-level Florida Complex League and 10 for Single-A Delmarva, he went a combined 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 53 2/3 innings. It was a nice breakout performance by the lefty. Even after he moved up, he allowed just a .177 batting average and 2.39 ERA in his first go-around in full-season ball with the Shorebirds. De León walked 30 with 67 strikeouts (11.2 K per 9) and had a 1.30 WHIP. Among all O’s farm pitchers with 50 or more innings last season, his ERA was second-best.

Continue reading

O's international program keeps taking steps forward and a new class is coming


The Orioles continue to see strong signs that their international program is really starting to hum. As they get set to open a brand-new Dominican complex, in recent weeks they had four international players ranked among the top prospects in the Florida Complex League. They had seven players taken in September in the Dominican Winter League draft, led by catching prospect Samuel Basallo.

Basallo is the shining star right now among the O’s international talent, but is far from the only talent starting to get noticed.

“In recent years we planted some seeds and the flowers are starting to come up,” said the O’s Koby Perez, promoted recently from senior director of international scouting to vice president of international scouting and operations. “Our staff and scouts on the ground have done a fantastic job finding talent and I can’t say enough about our player development system. Some of the fruits of our labor are starting to show.”

Perez and the Orioles will unveil a new international signing class when the signing date arrives on Jan. 15.

“We feel good about this upcoming class,” Perez told me at the 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.”

Continue reading

O's international program was big as club had four top prospects in the FCL


The Orioles had a strong showing recently when Baseball America presented its top 20 prospects for this season from the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.

The Birds had four players represented in the back half of the list. And they are all international signings, another sign that the club’s international program is really starting to get going right now.

Three of the four players were signed for significant bonuses in January 2022 and those investments seem to be paying off.

The New York Yankees had the strongest showing in this ranking, with five players among the top 20 and four in the top 10. But no other team besides the O’s had as many as four players ranked.

Dominican outfielder Braylin Tavera, 18, was rated No. 12 on the FCL list. The club signed Tavera in January 2022 for $1.7 million, the second-highest bonus the Orioles have handed out under the Mike Elias regime.

Continue reading