The Baltimore Orioles Introduce Twenty-Seven International Prospects

Shortstop Luis Almeyda headlined a busy international signing day for the Baltimore Orioles. For more about Almeyda click this link. In all, the O’s signed 27 players – tying their record for most players signed on International Signing Opening Day. Drawing from Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, the massive haul is another encouraging sign that the Orioles’ international presence is solidifying.

The Orioles were allotted a base pool of $5,825,500, with nearly half of that money going to Almeyda.

Other highlights of the class include SS Joshua Liranzo, INF Jose Mejia, SS Felix Amparo, RHP Keeler Morfe, SS Luis Guevera, and LHP Francisco Morao. For more on them, below is the official press release:

The Orioles today announced that they have opened the 2022-23 International Signing Period with 27 contract agreements, tied for the most in club history (2019-20). Highlighting the Orioles’ 2022-23 international signing class are: shortstop LUIS ALMEYDA, the highest-paid international signee in club history, shortstop JOSHUA LIRANZO, infielder JOSÉ MEJÍA, shortstop FÉLIX AMPARO, right-handed pitcher KEELER MORFE, shortstop LUIS GUEVARA, and left-handed pitcher FRANCISCO MORAO. Additionally, six more of the group are six-figure agreements. Of the 27 total agreements, 14 are from the Dominican Republic, 11 are from Venezuela, and one each from Colombia and Cuba. The signing class includes nine pitchers, eight infielders, six catchers, and four outfielders.

Liranzo, 16, is a shortstop from the Dominican Republic who showcases immense power with a loose swing and plus-plus bat speed. His power and hit tools give him the makings to be an everyday player capable of plus offensive production. In the field, he shows loose defensive action with good footwork and a plus arm.

Mejía, 17, a native of the Dominican Republic, profiles as an offensive second baseman. He is regarded as one of the best hitters in the 2022-23 class. A strong fastball hitter who can see spin, he projects to have a hit tool of 60 with a chance to develop 50 power. Defensively, he is solid in the infield and makes the routine plays. A natural leader with good instincts, Mejía also speaks English, which can make for an easier transition to playing in the United States.

Amparo, 16, is a shortstop from the Dominican Republic with a chance to be a plus hitter in the future. Standing five feet, 10 inches tall and weighing in at 145 pounds, he showcases surprising pop for his frame and is an excellent fastball hitter. On the dirt, he has good feet and soft hands with superb body control and a plus arm. A plus runner, his combination of offense and speed will see him stick at shortstop.

Morfe, a 16-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, is regarded as one of the better pitchers in the 2022-23 class. He boasts three plus pitches: a fastball that touches 95 mph with sinking action and plus command, a sharp, 81-83 mph slider with hard three-quarter rotation that is especially effective against right-handed batters, and a deceptive, 85-87 mph changeup with plus command. His pitchablity is advanced for his age and his overall makeup is impressive.

Guevara, 16, is a switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela with excellent leadoff hitter makeup. One of the better Venezuelan hitters in the 2022-23 class, he has outstanding bat-to-ball skills and a nice, easy swing through the zone from both sides of the plate. He showcases advanced hitting ability and power potential to the gaps. He is sound defensively and flows with loose, controlled movements. He projects to remain in the middle infield and shows plus arm strength. He grades out as a 65 runner who will be a threat on the basepaths.

Morao, 17, is a left-handed pitcher from Venezuela who projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. At six feet, two inches tall and 180 pounds, he has an impressive, athletic frame and a strong presence on the mound. A strike thrower, his pitch mix includes a fastball that reaches 92 mph with a lot of movement and plus life, a decent changeup that will be average in the future, and his strikeout pitch, a sharp 12-6 curveball with good rotation.

“We are thrilled to welcome these talented individuals and their families to Birdland,” said KOBY PEREZ, Orioles Senior Director, International Scouting. “Today’s announcement is tied for the most contract agreements to open the International Signing Period in Orioles history with 2019-20 – as well as the club’s highest-paid international signee, Luis Almeyda – and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff, and of course the continued support of our international efforts from Mike Elias and the Partnership Group.”

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