Braves sign Panamanian pitcher

The Braves have signed yet another international player. The Braves Show's Bill Shanks has more.

The Braves signed 16-year-old Abraham Espinosa to a contract November 18. Espinosa is a 6'2", 170-pound right-handed pitcher from Panama. The Braves beat the Red Sox and Astros for Espinosa's services.

Scouts told The Braves Show that Espinosa has a fastball in the 84-86 mph range, along with a nice curveball, and an outstanding changeup. Former Braves' prospect Raul Gonzalez taught Espinosa his changeup, which is a plus pitch.

Espinosa is very athletic, having played some at third base the last few years. The Braves believe he has room to fill out, and he could eventually be around 6'5", 200 pounds when he's finished growing.

Back in September the Braves signed shortstop Luis Madrid from Panama. Madrid is 5'11", 160 pounds, and he is 16 years old. He's a right-handed hitter, and in the field he has very good hands.

Here are the other international players signed to 2010 contracts:

Mexico: Shortstop Daniel Castro and right-handed pitcher Javier Morales

Dominican Republic: Outfielder Emmanuel Daniel

Venezuela: Outfielder Erick Maldonado, right-handed pitcher Jesus Saldeno, left-handed pitcher Elias Valdez

Nicaragua: Outfielder Elieser Salmeron and left-handed pitcher Enrique Medina

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly baseball column for The Macon Telegraph and is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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