The Catalonian Baseball and Softball Federation put an interesting post on its blog this weekend. Two 16-year-old players from the former Division de Honor club Hercules L’Hospitalet have signed with MLB organizations. Both are pitchers.
Ugueth Urbina Jr. is the son of the former Venezuelan big league reliever with the same name, who was convicted and sentenced to prison in 2007. Urbina Jr. and his mother moved to Catalonia, Spain in 2005. The right-hander spent his early years with CB Sant Boi and the FC Barcelona before joining Hercules. When his fastball reached 87 to 88 MPH, scouts noticed him and he signed with the Seattle Mariners organization on October 22 last year. The New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins also were interested in the young Urbina. It is expected that he starts his professional career this summer in the Venezuelan Summer League.
The second player is Luis Felipe Castillo. The right-handed hurler was born in Cotui, Dominican Republic. His family also moved to Spain, where he played for L’Hospitalet until the middle of last year. Since then he was in Santo Domingo to join the Dominican Prospects League, where players get plenty of visibility in front of scouts. The Arizona Diamondbacks paid him a bonus of $80,000 for his signature. His fastball velocity sits around 84 to 87 MPH.