Orioles Hope Samuel Basallo Adds To Burgeoning International Crop

Catcher Samuel Basallo was one of two seven-figure signees in the Orioles’ landmark 2019 international class, one that represented the organization’s return to the market after years without meaningful participation.

While other members of the class have reached full-season ball earlier, hopes are high that Basallo, who could begin 2023 at Low-A Delmarva, could emerge as the most valuable.

“I don’t want to put any huge expectations on him,” Orioles farm director Matt Blood said. “I’ll say that a player his age at his premium position, with his skill set, if he goes out and has a good year, he’s going to be a well-known and highly regarded prospect.

“He can do everything. He’s got really good athleticism for a kid his size. He throws really well—a plus thrower. Potential to be an above-average defensive catcher, and he’s got on-base skills and power. He has all the skills for the game that’s necessary to be a frontline catcher.

“He’s just really young and has a lot of developing to do.”

The 18-year-old Basallo has been one of the Orioles’ top performers in the Rookie complex levels the past two seasons. Last season in the Florida Complex League he hit .279/.350/.424 with six home runs in 43 games.

Basallo has shown the ability to handle velocity, made strides with his swing decisions and consistently hit the ball hard.

While the Orioles introduced many of their international signees to Delmarva in 2022, the jump in competition challenged some. This year, many of those players will be back for a second crack at the Carolina League, potentially joined by Basallo.

“He had a very nice FCL last year,” Blood said, “and we feel like he’s done really well this offseason, and we’ll see how his spring training goes. But we feel like he’s platformed himself pretty well to have a chance to make that team.”

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