SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners Vice President of International Operations Bob Engle today announced the signings of two international free agents. Signing with the Mariners organization was outfielder Julio Morban from the Dominican Republic and right-handed pitcher Francisco Valdivia from Nicaragua.
Morban, 16, is a left-handed hitting outfielder from the Dominican Republic. "We are very pleased to sign Julio," Engle said. "He has potential to become a solid all-around player with a quick stroke at the plate and with the strength to drive the ball with both line drive and long ball power. He is an above average runner with quickness on the bases, very good range in the outfield and has an above average throwing arm. Julio is a hard working player who should move rapidly through our system."
Valdivia, 16, is a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Nicaragua. "We consider Valdivia to have the best pure arm in the July 2nd international market," Engle said. "He's built like a bull, very strong with a quick, power arm and hard breaking ball potential. Like many young pitchers he will need to make some adjustments with his mechanics but we like his overall ability and potential."