07/07/2010 5:06 PM ET
Astros sign free agent outfielder Ovando
16-year-old considered among top Latin American prospects
HOUSTON, TX -- The Houston Astros have signed 16-year-old Dominican free agent outfielder Ariel Ovando to a 2011 minor league contract, General Manager Ed Wade announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Ovando was signed by Felix Francisco, the Astros Special Assistant to the G.M./Latin American Operations. The signing is contingent upon approval by the Commissioner's Office.
Ovando, a 6'4", left-handed-hitting right fielder, was considered one of this year's top July 2 prospects in Latin America. Latin players are eligible to be signed if they are 16 years old by July 2, and will attain age 17 prior to September 1 of such effective season. Ovando, who will be 17 on September 15, has signed a minor league contract for 2011. This season, he is expected to first report to the Astros Latin American complex in Boca Chica, DR, in the upcoming days and then is scheduled to participate in the Florida Instructional League in Kissimmee, FL in September.
"We're extremely excited to get Ariel into the Astros organization," said Wade. "Felix did a lot of work on this kid and we also were able to have some of our other evaluators scout him over the past several months. Ariel profiles as a middle of the order power hitter with excellent defensive skills. He profiles as a front line major league right fielder and should move quickly through the minor league system."
Below are some Astros scouting reports on Ovando:
Felix Francisco, Special Asst. to the G.M./Latin American Operations: Darryl Strawberry type body. Large frame. Long arms and legs with a lot of room to fill out. Everyday right fielder with the ability to hit for average and power. Ball carries off bat. Will be an above average right fielder with an average to above-average arm. Smart kid who has a clear goal in life and is dedicated.
Clarence Johns, Eastern Regional Supervisor: 2XL frame. Long, lanky features. High waist with extra long arms and legs. Has the frame of Fred McGriff with the long arms and legs of Darryl Strawberry. Will be a middle of the order bat with 30 plus home runs and 100 RBI potential. Will drive the ball to all fields. Future strong defender with arm strength to hold runners in check. Makes solid contact with ease. Plays the game with confidence and youthful exuberance. Very engaging personality. Reminiscent of Jason Heyward (Braves) and Dominic Brown (Phillies) as amateurs.
Bobby Heck, Assistant G.M./ Scouting Director: Impact player. Large, lean and loose frame. Broad, sloped shoulders. High, trim waist. Body similar to Carlos Delgado. Will hit 3-4 in a lineup. Advanced hitter for age. Quiet confidence with a boyish smile. Will be a big man. Easy, fast bat with hitter's hands. Reminds me of Jason Heyward, Fred McGriff and Carlos Delgado.
Ricky Bennett, Assistant G.M./Player Development Director: Tall, athletic frame, good build with room to fill out; body type similar to Cliff Floyd. Corner OF with power to all fields. Good bat speed and plate coverage. Ball jumps off bat and has 25-30 home run type power.