One of the toolsiest players in Latin America is back on the market, only this time he's using a different age.
Major League Baseball today lifted the suspension of Dominican center fielder Eladio Moronta, who MLB had suspended earlier this year for misrepresenting his age. Moronta's agent, Charisse Espinosa-Dash of the New York-based Draft Picks Sports Agency, confirmed that Moronta is no longer suspended and is now a free agent.
Moronta, who is 6-foot-1, 183 pounds, is 20 years old and turns 21 on December 16. He is an athletic righthanded hitter with plus-plus speed, flashing a good arm and raw power potential. Aside from Cuban defectors, it is incredibly rare for Latin American players who are older than 17 to command a big bonus, which is one reason so many of them misrepresent their ages and identities. Moronta, however, has the caliber of tools that might make him an exception.
"We all knew he was older," said an American League international scouting director. "There was just no way. He looked like he belonged in the NFL, running 6.3s (in the 60-yard dash). That's hard to believe for a 16-year-old."
It was not immediately clear why MLB ended Moronta's suspension, though Baseball America will have more news from Latin America in the coming weeks. MLB began suspending players for one year for misrepresenting their ages or their identities back in May 2008.