Blue Jays sign seven Latin prospects

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:09 PM ET

BALTIMORE - Not since the hazy Blue Jays days when Epy Guerrero ruled Latin America has there been a haul like this.

Marco Paddy, the Jays Latin American scout, filled both his pockets with contracts on Tuesday.

The Jays signed four of top 33 prospects from Latin America, according to the highly-respected Baseball America.

The top two signees were right-hander Roberto Osuna of Los Mochis, Mex. The 6-foot-3, 230 pounder was ranked fourth overall, while outfielder Wuilmer Becerra of Venezuela, 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, was ranked fifth.

The Jays also signed Venezuelans outfielder Jeses Gonzalez of Cumana 21st and right-hander Manuel Cordova of Margarita, 33rd.

The three other signings were from the Dominican Republic: right-hander Alberto Tirado, lefty Jairo Labourt and right-hander Yeyfry Del Rosario.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Labourt was given a $350,000 signing bonus.

Or maybe it was an illusion of a large haul as Labourt and Del Rosario pitched in the rookie-class Dominican Summer League this summer.

“Our commitment is to get the best available players the market had to offer,” Paddy said in a conference call. “We’ve made a huge commitment in Latin America. At the end of the day, we’re looking for the best.”

Osuna was clocked at 93-94 m.p.h. against Team USA in the final of the 16-and-under Pan American championship working on three days rest. He allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings in an 11-4 loss, striking out seven. He had a 3.79 ERA in 20 innings, walking two and striking out 20.

Pitching for Mexico City in the Mexican League against adults Osuna was 5.49 ERA with 11 walks and 12 strikeouts in 20 innings. The Jays had to purchase his rights from Mexico City before signing him.

Osuna is the nephew of right-hander Antonio Osuna, who pitched nearly 500 innings in the majors from 1995-2005.


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