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 Tigers announce international signings for 2013

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PostSubject: Tigers announce international signings for 2013   Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:21 am

Tigers announce four international signings

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/2/2013 8:00 P.M. ET

TORONTO -- The new spending rules and caps for the international signing market didn't change the Tigers' usual strategy once the signing period opened on Tuesday. They've often preferred signing several mid-range prospects and under-the-radar talents rather than dedicating big money toward one or two top-ranked players, preferring strength in numbers.

Thus, though Detroit entered the international signing period with one of the smaller bonus pools among Major League clubs, the team still pulled off four signings, three of them from the Venezuelan market they've turned to for several prospects over the last few years.

The most mentioned name of the quartet is Elys Escobar, a 16-year-old catching prospect from Valencia, Venezuela. Baseball America tabbed Escobar as the third-ranked catcher available from that country, noting his strong arm and defensive skill set along with some power at the plate. Escobar reportedly signed for $350,000.

Dominican shortstop Hector Martinez signed for $400,000, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez confirmed. The nephew of Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero was an All-Star in this year's Dominican Prospect League, showing an advanced, aggressive bat and some foot speed along with raw athleticism.

Two other Venezuelan signings, outfielder Hector Hernandez and shortstop Anthony Pereira, weren't as well known but still had the Tigers' interest. Hernandez is a left-handed-hitting outfielder with advanced speed and some power, while Pereira is more of a long-term project as he grows physically and adds strength to his fluid athleticism.

All of the signings must be approved by Major League Baseball, pending a standard identity check and age confirmation.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Tigers announce international signings for 2013   Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:57 am

Tigers ink four more international prospects

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/4/2013 7:37 P.M. ET

TORONTO -- The Tigers announced four more international signings on Thursday. Venezuelan right-handers Luis Ledezma and Wildenson Yanez both agreed to terms, along with Dominican shortstop Isrrael De La Cruz and Venezuelan catcher Jheyser Azuaje.

Ledezma is a lean righty with room to grow into his frame. He throws a heavy fastball with the potential for more power, and already good deception. Add in a good curveball and a changeup that he has worked to improve, and Ledezma brings a well-rounded package already at his age.

The Tigers see a strong foundation and a quick delivery in Yanez, whose fastball carries late movement to go with a changeup that complements it well and adds deception. He also has a sharp curveball. The secondary pitches in particular caught the Tigers' interest.


De La Cruz is a classic Dominican shortstop, wiry with good fielding skills. The Tigers also like his swing, which they see potentially producing gap power as he fills out and gets stronger.


Azuaje, the second Venezuelan catcher the Tigers signed this week, is a compact backstop who can hit for contact to all fields. His defense is expected to improve as he gets into the system and gets instruction.

As with the Tigers' other international signings, the deals are contingent on Major League Baseball's investigation to verify their identities and ages.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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