Orioles add pair of Top 30 international prospects

January 16th, 2024

The Orioles have come to terms with outfielder Stiven Martinez and shortstop Emilio Sanchez, a pair of top 30 international prospects who were among the 19 players the team reached agreement with as the 2024 signing period opened Monday.

Martinez and Sanchez reached agreements of $950,000 and $1.3 million, respectively, according to an industry source.

"We've been watching these kids for two and three years, ever since they were very young," Orioles vice president of international scouting and operations Koby Perez said. "Our scouts do a fantastic job, I can't say enough."

Baltimore entered this international signing period with a pool of $7,114,800 to spend, and it still has more than $2 million available, per Perez.

There’s a lot to like about Martinez, MLB.com’s No. 28 international prospect, and the conversations about his abilities always start with his raw power. Strong and athletic with a great frame and even more body potential, the teenager’s power potential is off the charts. For now, he has an aggressive approach at the plate, and it will be interesting to see whether his hit tool and overall bat-to-ball skills will match his strength. Martinez projects to be a middle-of-the-order bat.

On defense, Martinez has the speed, arm strength and athleticism to stay in center field. He also has the power to profile as a corner outfielder in the future if he outgrows the position. What’s certain is that he has tons of athleticism and upside.

Martinez trains in the Dominican Republic with Aldo Marrero, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

"I just feel really happy," Martinez said via Orioles team interpreter Brandon Quinones. "I'm really thankful for this organization to be able to give me this opportunity to just achieve a lifelong dream of mine."

It’s difficult to say whether Sanchez (No. 30) will be a better hitter or defender at this point, but the tools stand out on both ends and scouts love his potential. As a defender, Sanchez displays a strong and accurate arm. His defensive actions in the field are easy and fluid.

At the plate, Sanchez has already shown signs of power, especially to the pull side. As he continues to grow and mature, there is reason to believe that more raw power is on the way. His pitch recognition is advanced for his age, and overall, he projects to be a solid hitter and potential force in the lineup.

Sanchez trains in the Dominican Republic with Los Bautys.

"Honestly, I'm just really proud of myself, and I feel really good about my abilities overall," Sanchez said via Quinones. "I feel really confident in what I'm able to do, and I feel really good about being able to make it to the big leagues in Baltimore one day."

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year.

That means players born between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, will be eligible to sign in the current signing period. Players must be registered with Major League Baseball in advance to be eligible to sign.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez and Jake Rill contributed to this report.