Here is Baseball America’s report of the signing:
The Orioles have signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Hector Veloz for $300,000, according to his trainer, Victor Baez.
The bonus is a franchise record for an amateur player signed out of the Dominican Republic and is believed to be a franchise record for all of Latin America. A club official did not return calls seeking comment.
At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Veloz, who is from Santiago, stands out for his plus raw power from the right side, though he has been inconsistent hitting in games. He also shows an above-average arm and solid hands at third base.
The deal is not official yet, as Veloz still has to clear his age and identity check and pass a drug test, which in his case could get interesting. Veloz has also already tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol when he took a drug test in mid-May as part of Major League Baseball’s new registration program for 40 of the top Dominican prospects in this year’s international signing class.
Players in that program are not subject to any suspensions, though if a player fails a drug test after agreeing to terms he would receive a 50-game suspension.
Frankie Piliere listed two dozen free agents to watch, and Veloz was his #4 Dominican prospect:
4. Hector Veloz, 3B: Scouts have been somewhat torn on Veloz, who is one of the standouts of the Dominican Prospect League. Some have said his bat is arguably the best in the class and others have been less certain. He should be looking at seven figures from one of the clubs that is more convinced of his offensive potential.
Last month, Baez [Veloz’s trainer] told Baseball America that the steroid use was unintentional because the drug came from an over-the-counter supplement that did not list it as one of the ingredients.
It’s certainly nice to see the Orioles make a splash on the international market. Like Piliere said, Veloz should have received a seven figure bonus, but the price dropped because he tested positive for anabolic steroid Stanozolol.