Cardinals announce signings of 13 international free agents

The Cardinals announced the signings of 13 international free agents on Sunday.

The St. Louis Cardinals today announced the signings of 13 international free agents from the first day of Major League Baseball’s international signing period for 2016-17.

Headlining the first day signings, announced by Cardinals Director of International Operations Moises Rodriguez, were outfielder Victor Garcia (Barcelona, Venezuela) and right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo (La Habana, Cuba).

The 16-year-old Garcia is considered to be among the top-ranked bats in the July 2 class. "Garcia has a high offensive ceiling with run-producing potential at a corner outfield position," said Rodriguez. "He possesses a strong combination of hitting ability and future power." The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Garcia is a native of Barcelona, Venezuela and he bats right-handed. 

The 18-year-old Oviedo is a physically imposing pitcher who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 220. "Oviedo has a plus fastball and a three-pitch mix," stated Rodriguez. "He projects as a top of the rotation starter who has an excellent chance to flourish within our system."

The 13 players (nine position players & four pitchers) who have signed are representatives of four countries (Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba). The complete list of day one signings follows. Oviedo, catcher Carlos Soto, right-handed pitcher Enmanuel Solano and outfielder Diomedes Del Rio will be activated to play for the Cardinals’ 2016 DSL team; all others will be signed for the 2017 minor league season.

Johan Oviedo  (RHP)                    

18 years old

DOB: 03/02/1998      

Hometown: La Habana, Cuba

6-6, 220 lbs                    


Victor Garcia (OF) R/R

16 years old

DOB: 09/16/1999      

Hometown: Barcelona, Venezuela

6-3, 215 lbs.                  


Carlos Soler (OF) L/R

16 years old

DOB: 10/29/1999      

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep

6-2, 163 lbs


Franklin Soto (SS) R/R               

16 years old

DOB: 09/23/1999      

Hometown: San Cristobal, Dom. Rep.

5-11, 168 lbs


Carlos Soto (C) L/R 

17 years old

DOB: 04/27/1999      

Hometown: Los Mochis, Mexico

6-2, 220 lbs.                  


Allinson Benitez (RHP)               

16 years old

DOB: 11/04/1999      

Hometown: Chivacoa, Venezuela

6-4, 200 lbs.                  


Diomedes Del Rio (CF) L/L 

18 years old

DOB: 09/15/1997      

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

5-10, 160 lbs.               


Luis Montano (OF) L/R

16 years old

DOB: 04/10/2000      

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

6-2; 170 lbs


Yowelfy Rosario (SS) R/R

16 years old

DOB: 06/09/2000      

Hometown: Santiago, Dom. Rep.

6-3, 165 lbs                    


Alexander Samuel (OF) R/R

16 years old

DOB: 03/24/2000      

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

6-3, 190 lbs.                  


Enmanuel Solano (RHP)  

17 years old

DOB: 09/23/1998      

Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep.

6-1, 160 lbs


Joyser Garcia (C) R/R

16 years old

DOB: 10/14/1999      

Hometown: Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

5-10, 165 lbs.               


Rodard Avelino (RHP)               

17 years old

DOB: 06/03/1999      

Hometown: Villa Altagracia, Dom. Rep.

6-1, 170 lbs