The St. Louis Cardinals announced the signings today of five international free agents on the first day of Major League Baseball's international signing period for 2015-16.
Headlining today's signings, announced by Cardinals Director of International Operations Moises Rodriguez, were Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Alvaro Seijas and Dominican shortstop Raffy Ozuna.
Seijas, 16, is considered by the Cardinals to be among the top-ranked pitchers in the July 2 class. "Seijas currently possesses a low 90s fastball with sound control and a curveball that projects to be an out pitch in the future," said Rodriguez. "We are thrilled to have acquired a starting pitcher who we consider to be the top 16-year-old pitcher in the international market."
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Seijas is a native of Maracay, Venezuela, who was born on Oct. 10, 1998. His father was a professional basketball player in Venezuela for many years, and the athletic Alvaro also played basketball in numerous national tournaments representing his state of Arugua.
Ozuna, 16, is a switch-hitting shortstop who was born on Sept. 8, 1998, in San Cristobal, D.R. His father is currently a minor league coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and he also played minor league baseball for the Dodgers. The 6-2, 185-pound Ozuna has spent his entire life around baseball. "Raffy projects high from a physical standpoint, has a plus arm, and we view him to be among the top shortstops in this year's class," said Rodriguez.
In addition to Seijas and Ozuna, the Cardinals announced the following players were also signed today and will be activated to play for the Cardinals' DSL team:
• Anthony Trompiz, RHP, 6-3, 214 (DOB: Nov. 20, 1997) -- Punto Fijo, Venez.
• Brian Pirela, RHP, 6-2, 208 (DOB: Jan. 19, 1998) -- Ciudad Ojeda, Venez.
• Noel De Jesus, RHP, 6-2, 181 (DOB: Jan. 8, 1997) -- Bonao, D.R.
All of today's player signings are final, and all have passed their physicals and the required MLB background checks.