Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
The 2023 international signing period began on Sunday, and the A’s have been active participants. In addition to top 50 international prospects Luis Morales and Darling Fernandez, the A’s have come to terms with another 15 players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Welcome to the Green and Gold! ✍️— Oakland A's (@Athletics) January 16, 2023
We've agreed to terms with 17 international players including one from Cuba, six from Dominican Republic and 10 from Venezuela.
Full details https://t.co/i4Gftp8Hce pic.twitter.com/dErHQqdhhx
Melissa Lockard at The Athletic reported on the new international class. She discussed the group of 17 with A’s international scouting director Steve Sharpe, who described the new class as “one of the most robust and deep classes we’ve done in the last several years.” Lockard also mentioned that at least one more signing from Asia is expected in coming weeks.
Right handed starter Morales is at the head of this class; Sharpe described him as “loose and electric” and said the 6’3”, 190 pound 20-year-old could be a “high end starter” if he proves to have enough stamina for a big league starter’s workload. Sharpe also characterized Morales as “pretty mild mannered and easy going.” Morales is expected to command a record-high signing bonus for an amateur Cuban pitcher.
Fernandez, a 17-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic who is ranked 40th on the Top 50 International Prospects list, will also reportedly receive a seven-figure bonus, though exact figures haven’t been released. Sharpe compared Fernandez’s hitting ability to that of Curtis Granderson.
Several players on the shallower end of the bonus pool were also discussed, including Venezuelan catcher Ramón Landaeta, whom Sharpe described as possibly the best pure hitter of the group. The class includes three shortstops, three outfielders, and two catchers. Nine pitchers in total were recruited—all of them righties. Matt Kawahara tweeted the full list:
A’s agreed to terms with the following international players: pic.twitter.com/TXqyWNymqB— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) January 16, 2023
Lockard’s report is an essential read that also delves into how the A’s have improved their international scouting apparatus. Check it out at The Athletic!
- Lockard: Luis Morales leads A’s international class that is ‘really talented from top to bottom’ ($)
- Dierberger: A’s expect Fujinami to be key contributor in 2023 rotation
- Kawahara: A’s introduce Shintaro Fujinami, Japanese veteran slated to join rotation ($)
- McDonald: Athletics Sign Austin Pruitt To Minor League Deal
- McCullough: MLB expansion: Nashville group led by Dave Stewart makes a pitch for Music City ($)
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- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Your 2023 world champions have been assembled.
Regarding the A's offseason acquisitions, A's GM David Forst said at today's press conference: "I think we've done most of our work."— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) January 18, 2023
A’s honor MLK with support to Young Black Scholars.
To celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the A's today made a donation to 100 Black Men of the Bay Area to support its Young Black Scholars program. The organization will also host a front office food drive and provide volunteer & educational resources for its staff. pic.twitter.com/enwJVpJuOX— Oakland A's Communications (@AthleticsPR) January 16, 2023
The ink should be dry by now.
It's official - the A's sign 20-year-old Cuban RHP Luis Morales, MLB Pipeline's #5-ranked international prospect. His fastball reportedly sits 94-97... https://t.co/dW3w1Xm4ld— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) January 16, 2023
Hajimemashite, Shintaro Fujinami!
Shintaro Fujinami Press Conference https://t.co/JUwPgKyjCX— Oakland A's (@Athletics) January 17, 2023
W‘chuk is high on this list.
A's LHP Ken Waldichuk checks in at #3 on this list. The piece praises his fastball and notes his "humble beginning" as a 5th-round draft pick of the Yankees... https://t.co/gQgxS5sLus— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) January 17, 2023
No six-man rotation planned for said world champion squadron.
A's will have a bunch of starters vying for spots in Spring Training but GM David Forst said he does not see them going with a six-man rotation at this point.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) January 17, 2023