Three years ago, Orioles general manager Mike Elias made his first big splash in the international market, signing not one but two players to seven-figure bonuses for the first time in franchise history.

Since then, the Orioles have only continued to expand their presence in Latin America, breaking their own international signing bonus record two more times. The latest class — added Monday — was headlined by Emilio Sánchez, who signed for $1.3 million, the third-largest bonus in franchise history.

Most players sign when they are 16 — the earliest they are allowed to — and spend a few years at the Orioles’ academy in the Dominican Republic before they come to the United States. The Orioles had only one homegrown international player on their roster last year — closer Félix Bautista, who was signed in 2016 after initially signing with the Marlins. Jonathan Schoop, who left the team in 2018, is the only other notable name from the last decade.

But this next group could be the ones to change that. Here’s a look at where the top Orioles international signings are — and how successful they’ve been.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

C Samuel Basallo, 2021, $1.3 million

Basallo, who was the youngest player in his signing class, has taken off like a rocket and has a strong chance to be the first from this new generation of international talent to make it to the majors. Basallo, only 19, is No. 10 on Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list, up from No. 42 a year ago.

Last year, in his first full professional season in the United States, Basallo jumped from low-A to Double-A, hitting .313 with 20 home runs across the three levels. He was scouted for his power potential — he had triple-digit exit velocities when he was 16 — but has improved behind the plate as well. He has an elite throwing arm and has enhanced his flexibility and receiving skills. He’ll likely start the season in Double-A and be in contention for a major league spot in 2025.

SS Maikol Hernández, 2021, $1.2 million

Hernández, who at the time received the second-largest bonus behind Basallo, has spent the last two seasons in the Florida Complex League. The Pampatar, Venezuela, native hit .179 in 38 games last year with a .308 on-base percentage.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

A lean and athletic defender — he was 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds when he signed — Hernández was signed primarily because of his potential in the field and his plus-side arm.

OF Braylin Tavera, 2022 , $1.7 million

After a year in the Dominican Summer League, Tavera made the jump to the FCL for the 2023 season. He slashed .262/.391/.421. He also stole 13 bases.

Tavera, 18, is the Orioles’ No. 16 prospect. An outfielder, he plays mainly center field but has experience in right and left.

SS Luis Ayden Almeyda, 2023, $2.3 million

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Almeyda, whose $2.3 million bonus is the largest in franchise history, played only 19 games in the Dominican Summer League during his first professional season before suffering ankle and shoulder injuries, the latter of which required surgery. He is expected to be ready for the start of the 2024 season.

Almeyda, who grew up in New Jersey before moving to the Dominican Republic when he was 15, has five-tool potential. At 17, he’s 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds and may outgrow the shortstop position, but he has a plus arm and good footwork.

SS Frederick Bencosme, 2020, $10,000

Bencosme was not signed to a big bonus, but he has big potential. After a year in the DSL, Benscome came to the United States for the 2022 season, and he jumped from rookie ball to high-A. He returned to Aberdeen for the 2023 season, hitting .246 while stealing 28 bases and rotating between shortstop and second. Bencosme, 21, is the Orioles’ No. 25 prospect.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College. 

More From The Banner