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International Signings

International Signings

The following is a list of the International Free Agent Signings completed by the Toronto Blue Jays in yearly chronological order.

2012

 

SS Richard Urena

Build: 6’1″, 160 lbs - DOB: 1/26/96 - From: - San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic - Bats: Left Throws: Right

Signed For: $725,000 on July 3rd, 2012

If there’s one tool that stands out most for Urena, it’s his 92 MPH arm strength as he proved while throwing across the diamond in a prospect showcase. He also ran a 6.9 and already has accolades from playing in the DPL, earning a spot on their 2012 All-Star team

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SS/CF/2B Franklin Barreto

Build: 5’9″, 175 lbs - DOB: 1996 - From: - Miranda, Venezuela - Bats: Right Throws: Right

Signed For: $1.45 million on July 2nd, 2012

The highest ranked international prospect on most expert lists this year, Franklin has been learning from his international experience since he was 10 years old. He trained with Ciro Barrios, the same as other Jays prospects and fellow international signees Jesus Gonzalez, Wuilmer Beccera, and Jesus Tinoco.

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SS Luis Castro

Build: 6’1″, 190 lbs - DOB: 199 - From: - Venezuela - Bats: Right Throws: Right

Signed For: $unk   on July 2nd, 2012

Trained with Jose Aguiar. (more to come)

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OF Andres DeAza

Build: 6’4″, 200 lbs - DOB: 17 Nov 1994 - From: - San Luis, Dominican Republic – Bats: Right Throws: Right

Signed For: $150,000 on March 7, 2012

From San Luis, Dominican Republic,  DeAza played in the Dominican Prospect League while developing his talent in San Domingo with notable trainer Josue Herrera. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound outfielder has a projectable frame, solid arm strength, and the ability to play all three outfield positions. Signing for $150,000, DeAza’s raw power potential is intriguing, and he is expected to begin his professional career with the Blue Jays’ Dominican Summer League affiliate in a few months.

After being passed over by teams shortly after his July 2 eligibility last year, DeAza participated in the Team One Futures East showcase in Jupiter, Fla. He was then selected to the DPL All-Star game in February and recently selected to the DPL Elite Travel Team. But once the right-handed hitter committed to Toronto, he refrained from traveling with his DPL squad.

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SS Ronniel Demorizi

Build: 6’0, 170 lbs - DOB: 1995 - From: - San Francisco de Macrois, Dominican Republic – Bats Switch Throws Right

Signed For: $105,000 on January 17, 2012

During the 2010-2011 DPL season, Demorizi was ranked among the best participating shortstops in the Dominican Prospect League. He was selected to the Under Armour All-America Game, DPL Elite Travel Team last march as well as the DPL All-Star Game in 2011. Demorizi is a switch hitter with bat speed from both sides, line drive gap hitter with occasional power; he has a sound approach and balance at the plate. He works on being inside the ball and has shown improvements in pitch selection. He’s a natural, effortless fielder with instincts and a well proportioned, athletic frame.

He shows good foot work, fluidness, rhythm and solid range. He consistently makes the routine plays and makes the tough plays appear routine. Like many Latin American player at 16 yrs old; he’s still in the polishing stages, but his athletic ability, actions and feel for the position will carry him to next level. His trainer Basilio Viscaino.

2011

OF Juan Tejada

Build: 6’3″, 180 lbs - DOB: 13 Feb 1994 - From: - Bani, Dominican Republic - Bats: Right Throws: Right

Signed For: $ on July 2nd, 2011

T

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RHP Greylor Conde

Build: ”  lbs - DOB: June 25th, 1994 - From: - Venezuela – Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $unk, in December 2011

Not much at all is out there about Greylor Conde. Once it is, we’ll update this page.

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RHP Jesus Tinoco

Build: 6’3″ 200 lbs - DOB: TBD - From: Venezuela - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $unk, on November 4th, 2011

From Baseball America‘s Ben Badler:

Tinoco, who is from Maturin, is 6-foot-3, 198 pounds with a loose arm, good delivery and a heavy fastball that touches 91 mph. Some scouts project him as a potential power pitcher and he already has advanced feel for his mid-to-high 70s curveball. Tinoco trained with Ciro Barrios, who also represented 2011 Blue Jays signings Wuilmer Becerra and Jesus Gonzalez, both outfielders.

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SP Osman Gutierrez

Build: 6’4″ 185 lbs - DOB: 15/12/1994 - From: Leon, Nicaragua - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $unk, on

A power arm out of Nicaragua, this 16-year old has a possible future as a late innings reliever.

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OF Jesus Gonzalez

Build: 6’1″ 190 lbs - DOB: TBD - From: Venezuela - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $1,400,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: No.49

Gonzalez has a rocket of an arm that makes him a favourite for RF in the future. Very raw and very young, he’ll need to prove his bat can match his arm in order to become an everyday RF in The Show. The Jays invested heavily in his talents based on his already plus-plus arm and overall potential. He could still grow some which could slow him down enough to push him to LF.

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OF Wuilmer Beccera

Build: 6’4″ 190 lbs - DOB: 10/01/1994 - From: Venezuela - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $1,300,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: No.

Son of the very manager of the organization the Jays signed him out of, Ciro Barrios in Venezuela, he is one very high ceilinged outfielder. From his power potential to his speed, Beccera has a little bit of everything to offer and the makeup to match. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he makes the leap to the U.S. and how well he does there initially.

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RHP Manuel Cordova

Build: 6’2″ 180 lbs - DOB: TBD - From: Venezuela - Bats unknown Throws right

Signed For: $unknown, July 13th 2011.

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Reportedly can reach the high 80s with his fastball and has power-pitching potential.

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RHP Roberto Osuna

Build: 6’1″ 205 lbs - DOB: 07/07/95 - From: Sinaloa, Mexico - Bats unknown Throws Right

Signed For: $unk, on

Throwing from a 3/4 slot, Osuna has shown about as much potential as anyone could have at his age and with his background. From facing fully grown adults as a teenager to having shown enough feel for 4 pitchers, he simply went out there and forced an MLB to sign him to a seven figure contract. The Jays were the highest bidders, and hopefully they groom his potential well enough to tap into his great potential. Baseball Prospectus gave him the potential for a 60 Fastball, 55/60 Curveball, and 50 Change-up. They’re not big fans of the body type, but they love his arm.

Just to put things into perspective when it comes to Osuna, he threw at a level which is rated as the same as a AAA level in Mexico, at only 16 years old!!  In fact, of all of the 2011 Jays international signings, he could wind up moving the fastest through the minors by a long shot. One could foresee him beginning his Jays career in the GCL, where they can work on his mechanics and get him acclimated to the U.S.

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RHP Alberto Tirado

Build: 5’11″ 177 lbs - DOB: 12/10/1994 - From: Dominican Republic - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $unk

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: NA

Not much is known about Tirado.

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SS/3B Dawel Lugo

Build: 6’0″ 190 lbs - DOB: 13/12/1994 - From: Bali, Dominican Republic - Bats Right Throws Right

Signed For: $1,300,000

Dawel was one of the highest ranked international prospects available in 2011. Ben Badler has the skinny on him available here. Of note is the fact that some of his sources believe he may eventually move over to 3B.

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OF Francisco Tejada

Build: 6’4″ 185 lbs - DOB: TBD - Hails from: Dominican Republic – Bats unknown Throws Right

Signed For: $150,000

Trained by Miguel “Billiyo” Delgado, Tejada is a great athlete who is apparently very raw but possesses an above-average arm and lots of speed. His speed is evident in his ability to run a 6.5 second 60-yard dash.  The Dominican Prospect League Baseball site (www.dplbaseball.com) also site his character as being “strong” making him a great candidate to fulfil his potential as a pro.

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LHP Jairo Labourt

Build: 6’4″ 204 lbs – DOB: 03/07/1994 – From: Azua, Dominican Republic – Bats Left Throws Left

Signed for: $350,000

The Blue Jays continue to be aggressive in acquiring international talent under Alex Anthopolous, as they signed 16-year old left-handed pitcher Jairo Labour. He hails from the Dominican Republic , is already 6’4″ 185 lbs at only 16, and apparently has a good feel for breaking balls.In order to sign this big Latin lefty, the Jays had to part with $350,000.

Labour did not make the top 33 list of international FA bonuses predicted by Baseball America in 2010, which is available here. It’s apparent that he worked his way to becoming a signed prospect this off season by improving on his stuff, particularly his velocity which has increased to a reported 92 MPH. When combined with an advanced feel for breaking stuff at his age, it leads to an attractive package of tools.

Hopefully, Baseball America and others will expand on his arsenal at some point in 2011. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how well he does while likely suiting up for the DSL Blue Jays this summer.

2011 Stats: DSL – 36.1 IP, 2.23 ERA, 18 hits, 14 BB, 29 SO, .220 average against

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2010

SS Adeiny Hechavarria

Build: 5’11″ 180 lbs – DOB: 15 Apr ’89 – Hails from: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba – Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: $10 million Major League contract, to be paid over 4-years

Jersey: #

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Although his signing didn’t factor into the latest “Top 15 All Time International Signings”put out by Baseball America because he hails from Cuba and played professional baseball there, but he received  one of the highest bonuses ever given to a prospect. Adeiny’s signing is a major shift in the Blue Jays organization. Instead of shying away from the top international FAs on the market and settling for middle to high talent potential players, the Jays have decided – under new GM Alex Anthopolous – to go directly after the top dogs.  Adeiny reached AA last season and should spend all of ’11 in AA or AAA. He very well could be the best SS the Jays have in the organization since Tony Fernandez and should be with the club in ’12 barring trade or lack of high-level play.

2011 Stats:

  • AA464 AB, 109 hits, 22 doubles, 6 triples, 6 HR, 46 RBI, 19 SB, 25 BB, 78 SO, .235/.275/.347
  • AAA - 108 AB, 42 hits, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB, 8 BB, 21 SO, .389/.431/.537

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RHP Adonys Cardona

Build: 6’1″ 180 lbs – DOB: 16 Jan ’94 – From: La Sabana,Venezuela – Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: $2.8 million

Jersey: #21

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Adonis has a powerful frame and awesome velocity for his age as he already hits 93 MPH at only 16 years old. Signing was a record for a Venezuelan, with the previous being $2 million for SD pitcher Adys Portillo. Another example of the shift to top-level players, Adonis did make the “Top 15 All Time International Signings” put out by Baseball America (the only Jays prospect to make the list), ranking 4th overall only behind C Gary Sanchez (NYY) $3m, SS Miguel Sano (MIN) $3.15m, and Michael Ynoa (OAK) $4.25m. A great article outlining the Jays philosophy and shift can be found here.

2011 Stats: GCL - 1-3, 4.55 ERA, 10 GP, 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 31 hits, 12 BB, 35 SO, .256 average against

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3B Gabriel Cenas

Build: 6’1″ 175 lbs – DOBtbd – Hails from: Venezuela – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $700,000.

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Has advanced feel for hitting at his age and his bat is definitely what will get him moving through the minors and potentially to The Show. He has been noted as having improved his defensive abilities enough since signing to become an above-average defender at 3B. Cenas has a plus arm and great range at the hot corner, but will still have to improve his power numbers to stick at the position long term.

2011 Stats: DSL - 53 AB, 11 hits, 1 double, 3 RBI, 9 BB, 11 SO, 1 SB, .208/.368/.226

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CF Luis Martin 

Build: 6’4″ 210 lbs - DOB: 12/02/94 - Hails from: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic - Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: $350,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: NA

2011 Stats: DSL - 180 AB, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 5 SB, 92 SO

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OF Aderlin Gonzalez

Build: 6’2″ 208 lbs – DOB: March 1st 1993 - Hails from: Dominican Republic - Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: $260,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

A powerful swing and great tools are what’s going to get Gonzalez moving up through the minors, but only if he can improve his performance on the field and stop swinging at everything. He had a hard time in the DSL in 2010 (.167/.213/.284 with 2 HRs and 8 SBs in 102 ABs), but if he can set himself straight, Gonzalez can tap into his plus speed and plus arm to become a very good defensive center-fielder as a minimum. The Jays have decided to have him hit RH exclusively from now on, as he used to switch-hit, so we’ll see how that affects his numbers in 2011.

2010 Stats: DSL102 AB, 17 hits, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 36 SO, .167/.213/.284

DNP in 2011

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2009

C/1B/DH Santiago Nessy

Build: 6’2″ 220 lbs – DOB: 8 Dec ’92 – Hails from: Venezuela – Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: $750,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Still so very young, Nessy spent 2010 playing for the DSL Jays and showed some of his power with 12 doubles and 2 HRs in 141 ABs, but still has a lot of developing to do. He does project to have a ton of power and to be a middle of the order bat if he puts it all together.

2011 Stats:

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2008

3B Gustavo Pierre

Build: 6’2″ 183 lbs – DOB: 28 Dec ’91 – Hails from: Venezuela – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $700,000.

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: No.

Has now made it as far as the LoA SS level where he was able to hold his own at only 18 years old. Pierre should be able to make the jump to LoA full season in 2011 and may make the biggest breakthrough yet in his progression after 2 years of being slightly under age for his level.

 

 

2011 Stats:

2012 Stats:

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C Carlos Perez - Now 21 years old

Build: 6’0″ 193 lbs – DOB: 27 Oct ’90 – Hails from: Venezuela – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $700,000. Signed by Rafael Moncada.

Ranked:

  • Pre-2011 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: No. 8
  • Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect: No.

 

2011 Stats: LoA383 AB, 98 hits, 17 doubles, 6 triples, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 6 SB, 37 BB, 74 SO, .256/.320/.355

2012 Stats:

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2B/SS Garis Pena

Build: 5’11″ 178 lbs DOB: 10 Mar ’92 Hails from: Dominican Republic – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $300,000

Ranked: Pre-2012 Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospect:

Gari hasn’t played very much while playing for the Jays in the GCL. He has only 246 ABs to show over his first 2 season there and has a horrible .199/.245/.289 line to show for it. On the positive side of things, he only has 5 errors over 310 chances in the field, achieving a .973 fielding percentage in 2010. With only 4 doubles and 2 HRs in each of his 2 seasons, and only 1 SB added to those totals, it seems that Pena may not be in the system for much longer and may continue to be relegated to a bench role in the foreseeable future.

2011 Stats: LoA280 AB, 60 hits, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB, .214/.235/.314

2012 Stats:

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2007

RHP Kenny Rodriguez

Build: 6’2″ 190 lbs – DOB: 17 Mar ’85 – Hails from: Cuba – Bats right, Throws right -

Signed for: $____. (Kenny was signed a 6-figure minor league contract with the Jays after defecting to Peru in 2006. I would love to put an amount in there, but none was released.)

Since signing, Kenny has made it as high as AA in 2009 but regressed severely in 2010 as he struggled mightily in HiA with an 8.57 ERA over 3 starts. It remains to be seen whether he can make it back from such a trying year, but Kenny does have enough stuff to make it as a reliever if he keeps at it.

Update: Last pitched in 2010 for Dunedin. Stats here.

***No Longer in Baseball with an MLB Franchise

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2006

1B/3B/OF Balbino Fuenmayor - Now 21 years old

Build: 6’3″ 235 lbs – DOB: 26 Nov ’89 – Hails from: Venezuela – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $725,000 – reportedly beating 6 other clubs to the punch

Now 21, Balbino has not progressed as well as expected. Not only does he lack the power that his frame suggests he should have, but he also has major issues hitting the ball consistently as evident by looking at his .220 average during his second season in LoA Lansing. He could turn it around at his age, but it seems unlikely at this point.

2011 Stats: LoA – 325 AB, 81 hits, 18 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 1 SB, .249/.305/.366

2012 Stats:

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RHP Henderson Javier Alvarez 

Build: 6’0″ 190 lbs – DOB: 18 Apr ’90 – Hails from: Valencia, Venezuela – Bats Right, Throws Right

Signed for: in August of 2006

Most Jays fans have heard of Henderson’s potential by now as he has been within the top 10 prospects as recently as 2009. However, the 2010 season was not as kind as others have been to Henderson and he is also facing new competition form a massive influx of talent under Alex Anthopolous. He could make the biggest leap of his career in 2011 if he can establish a dominant performance in AA – the expected starting point for him in 2011.

2011 Stats:

  • HiA/AA – 8-5, 3.18 ERA, 17 GS, 96.1 IP, 92 hits, 18 BB, 70 Ks, 1.142 whip
  • Majors: 1-3, 3.53 ERA, 10 GS, 63.2 IP, 64 hits, 8 BB, 40 Ks, 1.131 whip

2012 Stats:

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2005

OF Moises Sierra

Build: 6’0″ 225 lbs – DOB: 24 Sep ’88 – Hails from: the Dominican Republic – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for:

Moises has had some injury issues in recent years that have slowed his progression in the minors. He is still very highly thought of by most scouts and, aside from the questions concerning his power, has the tools to be an effective major league player. He may begin the ’11 season in HiA with a quick promotion to AA if he has success, but most of his season should be in AA – if he can stay healthy, that is.

2011 Stats: AA – 495 AB, 137 hits, 19 doubles, 3 triples, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 16 SB, 39 BB, 93 SO, .277/.342/.436

2012 Update:

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OF Johermyn Chavez - Now with the Seattle Mariner Organization

Build: 6’3″ 200 lbs – DOB: 26 Jan ’89 - Hails from: Venezuela – Bats right, Throws right

Signed by Tony Arias for:

He has since been traded to the Seattle Mariners in a trade that brought Brandon Morrow to Toronto. Johermyn continues to impress and could make it as high as AA in 2011. Baseball America ranked him as the 7th best Seattle prospect in this year’s prospect ranking edition.

2011 Stats: 439 AB, 95 hits, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 6 SB, 49 BB, 124 SO, .216/.312/.360

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2004

3B Leance Soto

Build: 6’2″ 210 lbs - DOB: 13 Jun ’85 – Hails from: the Dominican Republic – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $600,000 in the spring of ’05.

Never really went very far in his career and stopped his minor league progression in 2008 at age 23 after hitting 3 HRs in 151 ABs and holding a .238/.253/.344 line.

2008 Stats: LoA – 151 AB, 36 hits, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 SB, 2 BB, 47 SO, .238/.253/.344

***No Longer in Baseball with an MLB Franchise

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2003

LHP Chi-Hung Cheng

Build: 6’1″ 210 lbs – DOB: 20 Jun ’85 – Hails from: Taiwan – Bats left, Throws left

Signed for: $400,000 in November of ’03.

Cheng stuck around in the minors long enough to make it to HiA at 24 years old while playing for the Pirates minor league system. He finished that season with a 4.16 ERA over 16 starts and simply didn’t show enough to go on with a 1.435 whip indicating how ineffective he was despite being old for his level of competition. Cheng had been ranked as high as the 13th best Jays prospect (in their ’07 version) by Jim Callis who stated that Cheng “occasionally hits 90 MPH” and added that his best pitch was a curve ball but that “he relies on it too much”, a very good indication as to why he never made it very far in the minors.

Last threw for PIT in ’09: HiA – 20 GP, 84.1 IP, 98 hits, 23 BB, 39 SO, 4.16 ERA, 1.435 whip

***No Longer in Baseball with an MLB Franchise

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RHP Po-Hsuan Keng

Build: 6’1″ 215 lbs – DOB: 15 Oct ’84 – Hails from: Taiwan – Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $225,000 in November of ’04.

Never really went very far in his career and stopped his minor league progression in 2008 after a lackluster season in LoA Lansing at age 23. You can read a scouting report about him here.

2007 Stats: LoA – 34 GP, 54 IP, 56 hits, 21 BB, 51 Ks, 4.50 ERA, 1.426 whip

***No Longer in Baseball with an MLB Franchise

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2002

RHP Edward Rodriguez - now 26 years old

Build: 6’3″ 195 lbs – DOB: 6 Oct ’84 – Hails from: Bats right, Throws right

Signed for: $300,000.

Eddie never panned out at all, hitting a low point in 2006 when he was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance. He still stuck around long enough to pitch as high as AA New Hampshire for the Jays in 2008, but has since been let go by the organization. He pitched in the Independent league in 2009 and 2010, and did fairly well in 2009 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.286 whip over 30.1 IP. His stats regressed a little in 2010 as he held a 3.26 ERA and allowed 21 walks and 40 hits over 49.2 IP for the New Jersey Jackals.

2011 Stats: Independent League – 29 GP, 12 GS, 4.14 ERA, 100 IP, 114 hits, 34 BB, 84 Ks, 1.480 whip

***No Longer in Baseball with an MLB Franchise