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July 9, 2010

Report: Orioles sign 16-year-old Dominican prospect

It looks like the Orioles are taking a dive into the Dominican Republic talent pool.

According to Baseball America's Ben Badler, the Orioles have signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Hector Veloz for $300,000. Badler cites Veloz's trainer, Victor Baez, for the information.

Here is more information from the Baseball America report:

The bonus is a franchise record for an amateur player signed out of the Dominican Republic and is believed to be a franchise record for all of Latin America. A club official did not return calls seeking comment.

At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Veloz, who is from Santiago, stands out for his plus raw power from the right side, though he has been inconsistent hitting in games. He also shows an above-average arm and solid hands at third base.

The deal is not official yet, as Veloz still has to clear his age and identity check and pass a drug test, which in his case could get interesting. Veloz has also already tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol when he took a drug test in mid-May as part of Major League Baseball's new registration program for 40 of the top Dominican prospects in this year's international signing class.

As it mentions in the article, Veloz tested positive for steroids in May.

Last month, Baez told Baseball America that the steroid use was unintentional because the drug came from an over-the-counter supplement that did not list it as one of the ingredients.

Posted by Dean Jones Jr. at 12:20 PM | | Comments (23)


Report: 16-year-old prospect tears finger ligament while signing contract: Placed on 60-day DL.

I hope the orioles keep up the good news although this signing falls way below many of the top guys by other systems..Every other team in our division is seriously involved so if we don't want to get further behind we have to compete now to stock the system.

Orioles sign 16-year-old steroid use. Meanwhile, Yankees are about to acquire Cliff Lee to go with Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes, Burnett, Vazquez, et al. Somehow, the words "competitive balance" seem very hollow.

"As it mentions in the article, Veloz tested positive for steroids in May.

Last month, Baez told Baseball America that the steroid use was ununintentional because the drug came from an over-the-counter supplement that did not list it as one of the ingredients."

C'mon, can't the O's do better than this? Yet another "someone spiked my B-12" steroid abuser?

Plus, what's "16-year-old" in Dominican years?

P.S. Was "ununintentional" a typo or was it a Freudian slip?

RESPONSE FROM DEAN: Ha, good catch. That was grabbed from the Baseball America article, where it was a typo. Fixed now. Thanks.

Stock the system? Didn't the O's just draft 49 players? What's the outlook for those? What happened to the roughly 50 players the O's have drafted in each of the last 3 years? Are any of those likely to make the roster soon? If not, what the heck is wrong with the O's drafting?


I believe it's obvios that in the DR B-12 has Stanozolol. We need to invest a little more in international players. As far as getting Cliff Lee goes, we could put together a couple of minor leaguers, but is it worth it for a team looking at the bottom of the MLB? If he comes to the O's in a trade, he tests the FA market. If he makes it to FA, we have 2 problems. He would cost us more than anybody else and we lose the 2nd rond pick next year. It doesn't fit the 'Plan.

IF you followed the international scenes much there are dozens of players affected by this over the counter thing not listed on the package so this isn't a big deal..BUT every other team in our division appears more involved at this point. We need to be more aggressive and put more money into this market.. SOMEONE mentioned Theroit as a SS/2B the orioles could afford plus he is a cub.. Texas 1B/3B Chris Davis who had 38 HR in about 650 ab the last 2 years is back in AAA blocked by smoak Davis is 24 and hitting over 350 avg. now he could be the next Gonzalez traded by texas certainly he could help us now and still be here if we sign someone else for 1B in the off season,. Plus Andy seems to have a good connection with texas and I think texas is scouting some of our july guys if we could get davis do it ASAP!!!!!

Re: comment by easywriter01. Short of a salary cap or a 10-fold increase in TV revenues in the Baltimore area, we will never be on a level playing field with the Yankees. That is the truth about baseball today. What we need to be is as savvy as the mid-market teams like Minnesota and Tampa Bay in spotting and developing talent. So that is the question about the Veloz signing. Are these the best scouts (and the best paid scouts) in baseball selecting this guy? Because if not they should be.. Earl Weaver said it a few weeks ago--Syd Thrift sent the best scouts packing because the organization did not treat them with the respect and pay they deserved. That, in my opinion, was one of the root causes of the unraveling of the Orioles organization. Talent-spotting is not a "crap-shoot" as many like to say it is. You have to invest in the talent to spot talent and then develop it. MacPhail has helped to improve the player development system somewhat but not, in my opinion, to the point where we are even above average for a major league organization. That is one area where we can be competitive with the Yankees if we invest the money and energy to do it right.

Does this thing reek of desperation or what?

probably figure they can provide him with the stuff he needs to compete that won't set off the drug tests.

Well well, If he's 6'2" and 195 with the steroids at age 16 what the heck was he without them? 5'9" 160?
300K for an established cheater
great move

If I read one more rant on here about how desperate, or bad, the Orioles are, I am going to cry. What do you morons expect the team to do? No one wants to play here because there is no talent. When they attempt to bring in talent, you deride their actions?

Andy McPhail is a proven winner. He's done it with the Twins and Cubs. Maybe we can inter the remains of Syd Thrift and he could do better.

Wow, the fans of the Orioles have gotten so... ridiculous. For years the team has gotten ripped in every conceivable way by the fans for not being invested in Latin America, and now when we do sign someone of significant talent the fans want to rip then for that. At this point, the Orioles can't do anything right in the eyes of the fans, and it would not surprise me in the least to see the Orioles stop trying to please them.

Oh and @GRant... when you talk about Chris Davis you might want to think about the entire picture. Since 2008, in AAA Oklahoma City, he's hit 26 HRs in 523 ABs... in the hugely hitter friendly PCL. On the other hand, last year in Texas (the majors), he hit .238 with a 150/24 K/BB ratio, can't hit lefties with a boat oar, and is considered to be a terrible 1B. If you want to go get a 1B who is blocked by someone, then let's go get Kila Ka'aihue or Yonder Alonso or Lars Anderson or Logan Morrison. Davis has only one tool. Best case scenario he's Travis Hafner or Russell Branyan, which I don't really want/need on my team if I'm the O's.

16 year old from D.R. means 20 years old. But at least he was juicing.

Now, why in the world should this move be interpreted as "reeking of desperation?" Chill. All they did was sign a promising kid from the Dominican Republic. If the Nats or the Cubs or the Mariners did it, would they be reeking of desperation?

Now, if they bring him up to the parent club a week later --- THAT's reeking of desperation!

Well, this Oriole fan would feel a lot better if they could sign their drafted players as well.

The O's have to curb their bargain-basement tendencies and spend decent money on decent players. Their pennywise-poundfoolish spending has only garnered mediocre, injury-prone, and over-the-hill players as of late.

Let's bring him up.

easywriter01- It helps to have a competitive edge when you bring up players in your own system like Jeter, Cano, Posada, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, Rivera.. The Yankees have 56% roster of homegrown players currently active which is highest in the A.L.

The Orioles could spend about $40M more if they wanted to. Realize that they let attendance fall by 1.5M and that is probably $20-25M a year in lost revenue, plus the MASN money. No excuses.

Davis is no longer blocked - Rangers just traded Smoak for Cliff Lee.

Looks like McFail is at it again. Maby this kid can room with Hobbad.

What, is this news???? I could hammer a ball at 16, lets get real? very disappointing

Cliff Lee, would have filled some seats......aaaahhhh whats Peter doing???

Bunch of freaking crybabies and you call yourselves fans. The O's sign a high profile guys and your still complaining. WA WA, sounds like half of you need to take Midol.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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