Baltimore Orioles 2024 International Review


International prospects are finally starting to make their way up the system for the Orioles, with the crown jewel being catcher Samuel Basallo, who is in Double-A as a 19-year-old. The success of their international program will take on more importance now that the Orioles will be picking toward the back of the first round instead of piling up picks at the top of the draft. This year the Orioles spread around their bonus pool space to sign a diverse collection of players largely focused on position prospects for their top bonuses. 

Top Of The Class

The top bonus for the Orioles this year went to 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Emilio Sanchez, who signed for $1.3 million and is the brother of Heison Sanchez, a prominent infielder signing for the Tigers two years ago. Sanchez is 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, a lefthanded hitter with a chance for a balance of hitting ability and power. Sanchez takes a quick, tight turn to get his barrel to the ball with adjustability to his swing to make frequent contact. He will flash over-the-fence power to his pull side with the bat speed and body projection that suggests bigger power coming. An average runner with a solid-average arm, Sanchez should get a chance to stick at shortstop, where some scouts think he can be a solid, steady defender, though his first-step quickness and range might nudge him elsewhere, with some scouts projecting him to play second or third base. 

Names To Know

Stiven Martinez, OF, Dominican Republic: Martinez is 16 until Aug. 8, so he’s one of the youngest players in the class, but he’s already 6-foot-4, 200 pounds with big power for his age that should continue to grow. Signed for $950,000, Martinez can put on a show in batting practice and should end up with plus or potentially plus-plus raw power. Some scouts thought that he had made progress over the past year with his approach and contact frequency, but there is length to his swing that will probably always result in a higher swing-and-miss rate he will have to keep in check. He’s a corner outfielder with an above-average arm that would play in right field as long as he doesn’t get so big that he ends up at first base. 

Elvin Garcia, SS, Dominican Republic: Garcia’s blend of tools, skills and physical projection give him the look of a potential breakout player. Signed for $500,000, Garcia is a lanky, lively 6-foot-2, 165 pounds at 17 with good barrel awareness from both sides of the plate. He’s a line-drive hitter with gap power with some sneaky sting in his bat for a player who doesn’t have much strength yet and a chance for more over-the-fence power coming once he packs on more weight. A plus runner, Garcia is a smart, savvy player and a good athlete at shortstop, where he has fluid actions and a plus arm with comfort making throws from different angles. 

Jemone Nuel, SS, Dominican Republic/Jamaica: Noel participated in multiple MLB showcase events as an amateur and hit well there, drawing a $500,000 bonus at 17. With a Jamaican mother and Dominican father, Nuel was born in Jamaica and signed out of the Dominican Republic. He’s 6 feet, 150 pounds, a switch-hitter with a line-drive stroke and gap power. He’s a plus runner with the quick-twitch athleticism that gives him a chance to stick at shortstop. 

Angel Garcia, OF, Venezuela: The Orioles signed Garcia for $240,000, landing a 17-year-old with right field tools. He has a big, strong frame for his age at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and drives the ball with impact from the right side of the plate, albeit with some swing-and-miss that creates a power-over-hit profile. Garcia runs well for his size with slightly above-average speed and has a strong arm that should fit in right field. 

Esteban Mejia, RHP, Dominican Republic: Mejia has seen his stuff jump since he signed for $175,000. He entered the year with a fastball up to 93 mph, but this spring he came out touching 95 mph as he has started to add strength to his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame. Mejia is a solid strike-thrower for 17 and has the look of a pitcher who could have more velocity still to come. Mejia throws a curveball and changeup, with his fastball his predominant pitch as he works to develop his secondaries. 

Enmanuel Corniel, OF, Dominican Republic: Corniel, 17, signed for $175,000. He’s a wiry 6-foot-1, 160 pounds, a lefthanded hitter with good bat control to put the ball in play at a high clip and doubles power. He’s a good athlete and a 55 runner who has a chance to stay in center field if he can maintain or perhaps improve his speed as he layers on more strength. 

Argenis Valdez, OF, Dominican Republic: Valdez signed on his 17th birthday on Jan. 15 for $150,000. He’s 6-foot-3, 160 pounds, an offensive-minded outfielder who has a chance to hit for power from the right once he packs more weight on his frame. He’s a corner outfielder who may fit best in left field. 

Hector Campusano, SS, Dominican Republic: Campusano is 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, a switch-hitting middle infielder who projects as an offensive second baseman with good contact skills and gap power. He signed for $140,000. 

Sleeper Watch

Venezuelan catcher Juan Garcia signed with the Orioles for $100,000. He’s 5-foot-11, 165 pounds at 17, an offensive-oriented catcher with good feel for the barrel from the right side. Garcia has a chance to be a high-contact hitter with doubles power now and a chance to grow into 10-15 home run pop.

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