Report: A's sign 16-year-old Dominican SS

January 25, 2012, 1:36 am
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The A's have agreed to terms with 16-year-old, switch-hitting shortstop Yairo Muoz from the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Prospect League announced.

The agreement is reportedly worth 280,000.

Muoz, 6-foot, 168-pounds, is lauded for his defense first; he trains in Santo Domingo with former New York Yankees infield coach Rafael Jimenez.

The scouting report cites a strong arm, solid fielding skills and above-average speed, calling him a contact hitter with good baseball instincts.

Last August, Muoz starred in the 2011 Under Armour All-American Baseball Game at Wrigley Field. He went 2-for-4, hitting a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning that snapped a tie and would be the game-winning hit, giving his team a 6-4 victory.

Muoz hails from the town of Cabrera, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

Obviously, at 16, Muoz is years away from being considered for the big-league team, but Cliff Pennington is the only shortstop currently listed on the A's 40-man roster.

Oakland did use the 13th overall pick in the 2009 first-round draft pick on Grant Green, the shortstop from USC. But Green, 24, is currently being moved to the outfield. He played 127 games for the Double-A Midland Rockhounds last year, 79 at shortstop and 47 in centerfield. He hit .291 and led the team with 154 hits and 33 doubles.

The A's are looking to identify a rising star at the shortstop position to turn double plays long into the future with second-baseman Jemile Weeks. Going into this offseason, the A's made it clear Weeks was the only player whose future in Oakland was secure.

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