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 Tigers sign top prospect out of Venezuela

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PostSubject: Tigers sign top prospect out of Venezuela   Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:12 pm

Last Updated: July 04. 2010 11:57AM
Tigers sign top prospect out of Venezuela
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

The Tigers have signed one of Venezuela's most talented young hitting stars, 16-year-old Danry Vasquez, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound left-hand hitting outfielder.

Baseball America reported the signing Saturday. Al Avila, the Tigers assistant general manager, confirmed Sunday that the Tigers have reached agreement with a player who is considered one of the top young hitters on the international stage.

"Miguel Garcia and Tom Moore have been following this guy since he was 14," said Avila, referring to the Tigers' top Latin American scout, and director of international scouting, respectively. "They've known him for a long time."

Avila signed another Venezuelan star, Miguel Cabrera, to a contract with the Florida Marlins when Cabrera was 16. Magglio Ordonez, another Venezuelan now with the Tigers, signed with the Chicago White Sox when he was 16.

Although it is too early to draw serious parallels with those two stars, Avila acknowledged the Tigers believe Vasquez has the talent to be a strong middle-of-the-lineup hitter and a solid corner outfielder.

Scouting reports say Vasquez has broad shoulders, long legs and arms, and should have a Bobby Abreu-like body when he physically matures.

He has flourished against older, better pitchers and is "not afraid of velocity" -- a tribute to Vasquez's success against harder throwers.

"He's the best bat we've seen in that market this year," Avila said. "He's not a flash-in-the-pan type. There's lots of history on him."

Vasquez, who throws right-handed, cannot play professionally until he turns 17. He will complete school in Venezuela, play in a developmental winter league during the off-season, then report to Lakeland, Fla., for spring training in 2011.

He will return briefly to Venezuela to play in the Venezuelan Summer League before joining the Tigers' Gulf Coast League team when it begins play next June.

The Tigers are not discussing contract details. Baseball America cited industry sources as saying the agreement was in the vicinity of $1 million.

lynn.henning@detnews.com

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100704/SPORTS0104/7040316/Tigers-sign-top-prospect-out-of-Venezuela#ixzz0skZnWRVu
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