By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
6:09 PM EDT, July 11, 2012
The Orioles have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, a club source has confirmed.
The 25-year-old Urrutia received a signing bonus of $778,500.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team hasn't officially signed Urrutia, but he said the player was taking a physical.
"We like him. He is a good hitter," Duquette said. "He’s had several good years in Cuba. He’s established residency in Haiti. Currently, he is in the Dominican.”
While Urrutia didn’t draw the attention that fellow Cuban defector outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler did -- he doesn't project to have the upside of the other two -- the 6-foot-3, 180-pound corner outfielder is still one of the top players available out of Cuba.
He is a switch-hitter with a line-drive stroke who has a better swing from the left side of the plate, according to a scouting report from Baseball America.
Urrutia batted .397/.461/.597 with 12 homers in 305 at-bats in his final season playing in Cuba.
Urrutia also has average power, but not the kind typical for corner outfielders, the report said. He’s a good athlete and could begin his career in Double-A.
Baseball America first reported the signing.
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