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Red Sox sign left-handers Emmanuel DeJesus, Jhonathan Diaz out of Venezuela

07.14.13 at 6:41 am ET
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According to an industry source, the Red Sox have officially signed a pair of 16-year-old pitchers from Venezuela, with their agreements having been approved by Major League Baseball.

The team added Emmanuel DeJesus, a 6-foot-3 lefty with a strong frame who features a three-pitch mix that he can throw for strikes. DeJesus demonstrates an advanced feel for pitching and a high baseball IQ, particularly given his age. He is described as having some similarities to current Red Sox starter Felix Doubront, who also signed out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old.

Baseball America’s Ben Badler described DeJesus thusly:

“At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, DeJesus has a loose arm and a big frame with a bit more durability than Doubront had at the same age, but his stuff is still a projection. He throws in the mid-to-high 80s and will flash some feel for a curveball and a changeup, but they’re inconsistent right now. DeJesus, 16, has more size but less stuff compared to fellow Venezuelan lefthander Ricardo Sanchez.”

The Sox also officially added 16-year-old Jhonathan Diaz, also a lefty out of Venezuela. Diaz is 6 feet tall and described by the source as a premium athlete (something that is evident in the fluidity of his low-effort and repeatable delivery) who shows both poise and confidence on the mound. He throws a mid- to high-80s fastball right now, with a changeup that the Sox scouted as his best secondary pitch along with a curveball.

Badler, in the same article, offered this fascinating morsel about the southpaw:

“While it’s doubtful any team would let him do it in pro ball, [Diaz] throws almost as hard righthanded as he does lefthanded. He’s not a big arm strength guy right now though, as his fastball cruises at 85-88 mph and he stands out more for his pitchability. His athleticism helps him repeat his delivery, which scouts generally said gives him some deception. He’s shown some feel for a curveball and a changeup with some scouts saying the breaking ball is his more advanced pitch, but all his stuff requires projection.”

The Sox have now reached official agreement with three top international amateurs this month, having already added outfielder Yoan Aybar from the Dominican. The team has also reportedly reached agreement with third baseman Rafael Devers, one of the top hitters in this year’s international amateur market, but as of yet, there is no official deal in place with the 16-year-old, meaning that the standard MLB background check has not yet been concluded.

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