Orioles sign 17 international players, two to seven-figure bonuses - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles sign 17 international players, two to seven-figure bonuses

Photo Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles announced on Friday that they have signed 17 international players.

According to the Orioles, they’ve given out bonuses of more than $1 million to 16-year-old catcher Samuel Basallo, from the Dominican Republic, and 17-year-old shortstop Maikol Hernández, from Venezuela.

The Orioles say that “Basallo has great size for his age and stands out for his easy, above average raw power to all fields from the left side of the plate. He displays an above average arm behind the plate and shows good aptitude.”

Hernández “is a tall, lanky shortstop from Venezuela who displays a good combination of speed and power. He flashes five-tool potential, with above average tools across the board. Hernández exhibits good hit ability and defensively plays a solid shortstop,” the Orioles say.

Other players rated highly are Victor Celedonio, a switch-hitting 17-year-old Dominican shortstop; left-handed hitting outfielder Teudis Cortorreal, who’s also 17, from the Dominican Republic; Wilmer Feliciano, a 16-year-old Dominican left-handed hitting outfielder; and 16-year-old Dominican catcher Aneudis Mordán.

“Today is a landmark day for the Orioles’ organization and its international efforts,” said Mike Elias, Orioles executive vice president and general manager in a statement. “It marks the first time in club history that we have signed seven-figure prospects … Thanks to the backing of the partnership group, and the excellent work Koby [Perez] and his team have done, we believe this historic signing class will substantially accelerate the construction of our strong pipeline in the international scene, which will benefit the organization for years to come.”

Said Perez, Orioles senior director, international scouting: “The excitement and strong showing of today’s signing news is a tribute to the hard work of our staff. Being in Year Two of retooling our international presence and having to deal with a pandemic is not an easy process, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have been able to accomplish. We know Orioles fans are excited for what we are building and today is a momentous step forward in making the Orioles a household name in the international market.”

Other players signed by the Orioles are: 16-year-old catcher Yasmil Bucco, from Venezuela; 17-year-old shortstop Eruviel Castillo, from the Dominican; 16-year-old left-handed pitcher Deivy Cruz,  Dominican Republic; 17-year-old shortstop Anderson De Los Santos, Dominican Republic; 16-year-old outfielder Hector Jiménez, Dominican Republic; 16-year-old outfielder Junior Lara, Dominican Republic; 16-year-old outfielder Ángel Peña, Dominican Republic; 17-year-old left-handed pitcher Elvis Polanco, Dominican Republic; 17-year-old catcher Carlos Rodriguez and 19-year-old shortstop Grabiel Salazar,  Venezuela; and 16-year-old shortstop  Angel Tejada, Dominican Republic.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    January 15, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Hernandez was at least ranked in the top 30…wish him luck…go O’s…

  2. Phil770

    January 15, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    That top 30 signing is really a major accomplishment, given how the process works. Great news for the O’s that their approach is working. Filling the pipeline is a start, getting them through the pipeline is the next test.

  3. cedar

    January 15, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Not having a lot of insight into the international market I see there was only one pitcher signed? Is that the norm or was it a thin year for pitching?

    • cedar

      January 15, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      Sorry, 2 pitchers signed, but my question still stands.

      • Rich Dubroff

        January 15, 2021 at 2:41 pm

        I will address this question in more detail tomorrow, but Elias said today that’s because 16-year-old pitchers are hander to get a handle on than position players of similar ages.

  4. CGarcia

    January 15, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    With the minor leagues delayed and no games last year. Where do both last years and recent international signings get playing time?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 15, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      They’ll probably go to the Dominican Summer League, where the Orioles will field two teams. They’ll also field two teams in the Gulf Coast League this year.

  5. willmiranda

    January 15, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    I know this isn’t precisely a baseball question, but what protects these legal minors who are given enormous sums of money? Are there child labor laws involved? Is the money put into trust? Are they required to have agents who are in some way licensed? In short, what keeps them from being exploited and dumped, since most will not become lifetime major leaguers?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm

      It’s a good question, and I think those concerns are one of the reasons Peter Angelos largely eschewed that market.

  6. ctevans

    January 15, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Thank God they’re spending some money! We’ve neglected the Latin players for too long. Muy bueno Elias!!

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Rich ….

    Elias said “Thanks to the backing of the partnership group ….”, to what partnership group is he referring?

    Regardless of the answer, this is a very encouraging day for we fans. Seems like the team was constantly outbid whenever they actually DID make a play for one of these guys in the past. Hopefully some of these boys will be paying dividends this decade.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 15, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      Ken, he was referring to the partners who run the ballclub, the Angelos brothers.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 15, 2021 at 8:35 pm

        Thank you Rich. I had a feeling that is who he was referring to but wasn’t sure. Maybe I had hard time reconciling 2 people as constituting a “group”.

  8. dlgruber1

    January 15, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    I noticed a lot of surnames on that list that are familiar. Do you know if any of them are sons of former major league players? I’m particularly interested in Tejada, Polanco and Pena.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 15, 2021 at 5:43 pm

      Not that I am aware of, but they are all common names in the Dominican.

  9. BirdsCaps

    January 19, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Are the orioles getting top tier prospects, or is this just an attempt to overpay good prospects to establish a presence in the Dominican market? The lack of effort(until the last couple of years) in the international market has been such a sore spot, that I can see the team overspending to make a “splash” or throwing money around on sub par prospects. Hopefully these international signings will work out in the near future.

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