Monday, March 11, 2019

Los Gigantes!

The Giants say they want to be more active in the international market

Nice story by mlb.com's Maria Guardado:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In 2010, the Giants signed Reyes Moronta as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic for $15,000. It was a modest investment in a teenage pitcher that has already paid off in a big way for the Giants.
Moronta debuted with the Giants in 2017 and became a key cog in the bullpen last year, posting a 2.49 ERA over 69 appearances. With an upper-90s fastball, sweeping slider and improving changeup, he has the potential to become the club's closer of the future.
"I had been talking to other teams like Kansas City and the Chicago Cubs, but the Giants had never seen me," Moronta said in Spanish. "Once they saw me, they signed me that same day. I never felt bad about the bonus they gave me. I felt grateful because it was an opportunity, and thank God, I'm here now."


But Moronta has been one of the Giants' rare success stories on the international market in recent years. According to research from Grant Brisbee of The Athletic, Moronta is one of only four homegrown international pitchers to appear for the Giants since 2000. The others? Right-handers Osiris Matos and Waldis Joaquin and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who pitched one inning of relief in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last April.
Sandoval, who signed with the Giants out of Venezuela in 2003, also has the distinction of being the club's last homegrown international All-Star.
The Giants' recent struggles to mine the international market for impact talent is especially surprising given their rich history of developing Latin American icons like Juan Marichal, Ozzie Virgil and the Alou brothers -- Felipe, Matty and Jesus.
"I was surprised by it," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. "It’s interesting because it wouldn't match your perception. It feels like there's always a Moronta or someone like a Moronta in the 'pen. I guess you don't always think about whether that was a homegrown player or not. But it's certainly an area we'd like to be better in."

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