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Orioles minor leagues: O's begin week with flurry of minor signings

...and for no reason, here's a picture of Buster Olney walking the lines at Ed Smith.
...and for no reason, here's a picture of Buster Olney walking the lines at Ed Smith.

The Orioles had been uncharacteristically dormant during the present period of minor league free agency. The signings of Tim Alderson, who played in the organization in 2013, and Cam Kneeland, an indy leaguer, were announced early on, but we've heard precious little since.

Over the weekend, however, it was noted that Venezuelan media was reporting the Orioles had signed pitcher Edgmer Escalona. The big right-handed reliever has bounced between the minors and majors since inking with the Rockies in 2003.

This afternoon, though...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The Orioles have signed RHP Brock Huntzinger, OF Chih Hsien Chiang, LHP Nick Additon OF Kyeong Kang to minor lg contracts.</p>&mdash; Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) <a href="">November 18, 2013</a></blockquote>

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From a developmental standpoint, the new signings all come from solid organizations with Huntzinger and Chiang being products of the Red Sox organization, Kang a Rays veteran and Aditton is a former Cardinals farmhand.

Brock Huntzinger is a former right-handed starter who split his 2013 between Portland and Pawtucket. He closed in Portland and amassed 13 saves. His arsenal includes a fastball, slider and changeup.

Chih Hsien Chiang (OF) is a Taiwanese international that has represented his country in the World Baseball Classic. Chiang had some fine seasons in the Red Sox system, but had sort of fallen on hard times after being traded to Seattle (though prior to 2012, he was the 14th rated prospect in their system according to Fangraphs). He hit 36 doubles in the Texas League last year as a 25 year old.

Kyeong Kang (OF) is a Korean international that hits left-handed and has played mostly left field during his time in the Rays system. He has a career OPS of .799. Though he has struck out a decent bit in the upper levels of the system, he has walked 280 times in 2438 plate appearances.

Nick Additon is a lefty that has started throughout his career in the Cardinals system since signing as a high schooler in 2006. In 53 AAA starts, he averages 7.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9, though his WHIP in 2013 was 1.17 and BB/9 dipped to 2.6. Per this 2009 Fangraphs write up, he appears to be a soft tossing lefty with plus control.


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The Orioles have signed free agent LHP Kelvin De La Cruz to a one-year contract. The Orioles now have 32 players on the 40-man roster.</p>&mdash; Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) <a href="">November 18, 2013</a></blockquote>

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De la Cruz is a 25 year old Dominican lefty that was signed originally by the Indians. In his first full season as a reliever, De la Cruz notched seven saves and struck out 27% of batters faced for the Albuquerque Isotopes. Per a 2009 prospect review, De la Cruz can hit the mid-90s with his fastball. His arsenal also includes a sinker, curve and change up.