Luis Almeyda Headlines the Baltimore Orioles’ International Signees
The Baltimore Orioles have signed international prospect Luis Almeyda for a franchise record $2.3 million. The former record was set in 2022 by the signing of OF Braylin Tavera for a $1.7 million signing bonus. A shortstop, Almeyda is ranked 17th on Baseball America’s top international prospects list, and 20th on MLB pipeline.
Almeyda’s designation as an international prospect is unique as he was born and raised in New Jersey. However, when he was fifteen, Almeyda moved to the Dominican Republic to be with his Grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Almeyda took full advantage of his unusual situation by training at MB Academy, a developmental academy that has trained star players like Yordan Alvarez and Julio Rodriguez.
His upbringing means he will need no time to assimilate to American culture or learn the language – giving him an advantage over many of the other international prospects this year.
Additionally, Almeyda was easier to profile than most international prospects given that he had already widely participated in the showcase circuit before his move. Scouts have a clearer picture of Almeyda’s skill set and a larger sample size to draw from due to the copious amounts of film available.
Almeyda is a right-handed hitter with a good power and hit tool. His swing is quick and smooth, and his powerful hands make for explosive contact. A natural athlete, Almeyda is an above-average runner who projects as a solid, versatile player for the future. He has demonstrated average to plus fielding that is aided by his plus arm strength that will continue to improve as he fills into his frame.
Currently listed at 6’2, Almeyda’s large frame may mean an eventual transition to 3B. However, in a 2022 interview with The Athletic, Almeyda affirmed his desire to stay at short, “Back in the day, it used to be 5 ’10 guys played short. Now everyone is over 6 feet tall. You gotta be a big dude with big bat speed, everything. I’m loving how this era is changing because they’re beginning to realize 6’3, 6’2 guys are really athletic as well.” Almeyda said.
Given Almeyda’s talent and familiarity with America, it’s possible that Almeyda will go straight to the FCL, foregoing time in the DCL unlike many of the O’s past international signees. While we won’t see Luis Almeyda in the Majors any time soon, his name is certainly one to keep an eye on.