Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reds sign 19-year-old Dominican pitcher to amateur deal

The Reds have tapped into the Dominican Republic once again by signing 19-year-old pitcher Luis Tejada to a $600,000 signing bonus. This is according to a report by Ben Badler of Baseball America.

Tejada had previously inked a deal with the Atlanta Braves for $125,000, but that contract fell through after Major League Baseball discovered the southpaw lied about his age, and subsequently declared him ineligible to sign for one year. Tejada then came forward with his real date of birth (12/23/93), which is one year older than he originally presented, and his penalty ended last month.

More on the signing from Baseball America:

MLB’s penalty has turned into Tejada’s gain. After throwing around 88-92 mph when he signed with the Braves, Tejada’s fastball velocity has since jumped up to the mid-90s in short stints. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Tejada throws a breaking ball that morphs between a slider and a curveball, showing shorter, slider-like break at times while offering more depth at others. He also throws a changeup that’s still a work in progress and is erratic with his control, so his future may be in the bullpen.

Tejada trained with Javier Rodriguez and Rudy Santin, who also worked with Dominican lefthander Jacob Constante when he signed with the Reds in January for $730,000. Constante, who turned 20 in March, has pitched well in the Dominican Summer League with a 2.45 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 11 walks in 22 innings.

Reds fans may be familiar with another pitcher the organization signed out of the Dominican in the likes of Johnny Cueto. Cueto inked an amateur deal with Cincinnati in March 2004 at the age of 18.

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