The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with Dominican shortstop Adrian Valerio on a $400,000 bonus. He is the second big International signing from today, with outfielder Edinson Lantigua being announced earlier.
Valerio is a 16-year-old switch-hitter, who like Lantigua, played in the Dominican Prospect League. According to Ben Badler at Baseball America(subscription required), Valerio has smooth actions in the field and a good arm, so he may be able to stick at shortstop. He has good bat speed and a nice easy swing from both sides. Valerio has a skinny frame, so he may never add power to his game. He is also a below average runner at this point, but has room to improve in that aspect.
As was mentioned in our International signing preview, the Pirates have been tied to Valerio, so this signing was expected....
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.