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Elephant Rumblings: A’s add 17 international signees

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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:

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!

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