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Astros sign 16-year-old Dominican shortstop

The Astros signed another teenage prospect from the Dominican Republic. On Tuesday, they agreed to terms with 16-year-old shortstop Wander Franco.

The switch-hitter, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 180 pounds, will report to the organization's academy in the Dominican.

Astros director of international scouting Oz Ocampo said the club has tracked Franco since he was 13 years old. He is the nephew of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar and the younger brother of Royals Minor Leaguer Wander Javier Franco.

"Wander comes from a baseball family and has an advanced feel for the game," Ocampo said. "His best tool is his bat. Offensively, Wander is one of the most advanced hitters in this year's July 2 class. He is a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter with a selectively aggressive approach and above-average pitch recognition for his age."

Ocampo said the Astros project Franco as a player capable of playing second, shortstop or third base.

"Defensively, Wander has plus instincts at shortstop, showing smooth hands, solid footwork, a strong arm and a very good internal clock," Ocampo said.

Last Friday, the Astros signed 16-year-olds Frankeny Fernandez and Felix Lucas to deals. Both players also hail from the Dominican.

Zack Meisel is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.
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