The Orioles have signed their second player out of Guatemala in the past two years, inking 18-year-old Juan Diego Montes to a minor-league deal, according to an industry source.
Montes, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, was scouted as both a catcher and outfielder, but the Orioles will likely develop him as an outfielder because he has a good arm and runs well. The club also anticipates Montes will develop power through the Orioles minor league system.
He will likely report to the Orioles’ Dominican League team to begin his pro career. His signing bonus was undisclosed.
Montes played for a Guatemala City team that won the Senior League World Series title in 2012 in Bangor, Maine.
Last year, the Orioles signed Guatemalan teenager Andres Aguilar, who has played the past two years in the Gulf Coast League. This past season, the 19-year-old outfielder hit .233/.263/.289 in 32 GCL games.
Guatemala isn’t was widely scouted as other Central America countries, but there’s been more interest there in recent years because of more organized and more expanded Little League programs and the development of a national team.
Under executive vice president Dan Duquette, the Orioles have bolstered their Latin American scouting efforts, determined to uncover talent from untapped Latin countries like Guatemala, Costa Rica and Brazil.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun