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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

December 16, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Brazilian-born shortstop from Japan signs with Seattle and will report to Venezuela

Got all that? Get out your atlas — there will be a quiz. By the way — there are rumblings that one of the minor-leaguers in the Cliff Lee trade (not sure from which team) flunked his physical. We’ll try to track that.

The Mariners announced today they’ve signed amateur shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor-league contract.

Okuda, 19, is a non-drafted free agent, and was signed by Mariners scouts Yasushi Yamamoto and Pat Kelly.

“Pedro is a player that we have been scouting for several years beginning when he participated in the Brazilian Baseball Confederation academy in Brazil, and most recently in Japan, where he is concluding his high school education,” said Mariners vice president of international operations Bob Engle in a press release.

“Thanks to the efforts of Yasushi Yamamoto and Pat Kelly, we have added a player who has proven to be an action player with a line drive swing and plus speed. Pedro is a player who has a lot of spirit and enthusiasm and we look forward to watching him develop in the Seattle Mariners organization.”

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound, left-handed hitting Okuda was born and raised in MarĂ­lia, Brazil, but attended Honjo Daiichi High School in Saitama, Japan. Engle and Hide Sueyoshi first scouted him in a youth tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil in May 2006.

Okuda is expected to join the Mariners Venezuela Academy after High School graduation in the Spring and will play there during the 2010 season.

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