Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports that the Royals have signed 16 year old shortstop Humberto Arteaga out of Venezuela. Arteaga will receive a $1.1 million signing bonus.
Arteaga stands six feet tall and weighs 160 pounds (remember, he’s only 16) and the Royals international scouts believe he can remain at shortstop as he develops. Scouts don’t think he’ll hit for much power and he has average speed, but the Royals believe he’ll hit.
“It’s more of a contact, line-drive type bat. It’s a simple, compact stroke. We think he’s going to make a lot of contact.” – Rene Francisco, special assistant to the GM (international operations)
Arteaga is a switch-hitter currently, but will be shifted to the right side of the plate completely as he comes up.
The Royals have been more active in the international market under Dayton Moore. Their most notable signing was left handed pitcher Noel Arguelles, who has yet to throw a pitch in a professional game and has been shut down for the year with shoulder issues. But they’ve also signed Cheslor Cuthbert out of Nicaragua, a power hitting third baseman who’s currently playing for Idaho Falls in the rookie-level Pioneer League in after being promoted from the Arizona Rookie League. Cuthbert could sneak into Baseball America’s top 10 among Royals prospects.