Astros Sign Shortstops Juan Pineda, Ozziel Sanchez From Panama

The Astros announced the signings of 16-year-old Panamanian shortstops Juan Pineda and Ozziel Sanchez. A righthanded hitter, Pineda is 5-foot-10, 145 pounds.

“Pineda’s best tool is his bat,” said international scouting Oz Ocampo in a press release. “He has a quiet approach and a short, quick stroke with good rhythm and balance. He has a knack for centering balls and hitting line drives to all fields. In the 2014 Panama National 15U tournament, Pineda led his team in hitting with a .338 batting average and was second in the tournament in hits.”

Sanchez, who is 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, is also a righthanded hitter.

“His best tool is his defense,” Ocampo said. “Sanchez has quick actions, soft hands, and an average to solid average arm presently. He projects to play at shortstop. Offensively, he shows gap power and uses all fields. He is a high-energy player who likes to play the game.”

Yesterday the Astros signed three players from Venezuela, including a pair of Top 30 prospects in righthander Franklin Perez and shortstop Miguel Angel Sierra. They also signed catcher Brandon Benavente.

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