Adrian Lorenzo has been working with international prospects in player development for nearly a decade. Now, he will be in charge of developing a system they are forged in.
A home town product and a player during his high school days at Belen-Jesuit High School and college days at the University of Pennsylvania, Lorenzo broke into the professional side of the game as an intern for an agency as an assistant to Latin players in 2011. In 2013, he accepted a baseball operations internship with an MLB team, the Red Sox. Eight years later, Lorenzo is back home in the biggest chair he has ever occupied. On January 12th, the Marlins named Lorenzo their senior director of international operations. Lorenzo replaces his outgoing predecessor whom he worked very close with since 2018, Fernando Seguignol.
“As an intern back then you were just happy to get any kind of job. To think this far ahead that it could progress to this would’ve been best case scenario,” Lorenzo said. “To do it for any team then to do it with your hometown team that I grew up watching my whole life and rooting for, my parents went to their first game. I grew up a Marlin. So to do it here is very special.”
Lorenzo takes the reigns at a very exciting time. Up until now, the Dominican Summer League Marlins played at Academia de Prospecto Complex which belongs to the Cleveland Indians. In 2022, the club will move into their very own, brand new, state of the art facility. The Marlins broke ground on the facility last June and it is expected to be ready for occupancy this summer. The facility features three playing fields as well as a training field, batting cages, a two-story office building, living quarters, a weight room, educational classrooms and more. Speaking in front of a photo of the facilities’ renderings, Lorenzo was all smiles when speaking about where it will take his department and the Marlins’ presence and growth in Latin America.
“I think we are about to have far and away the best complex in the Dominican Republic. There aren’t any complexes in other countries so I would say it’s one of the better complexes in the whole world,” Lorenzo said. “The speed with which it’s going; the scale of it, when you step into it, it’s astounding the scale of it.”
Lorenzo went into detail about the player and staff amenities the complex will offer.
“The admin building is not just admin; it’s clubhouses, locker rooms, offices, classrooms, computer labs, space for two teams and for tryout players to come in as well, offices for the international scouting staff, player development coaches,” Lorenzo said. “Dorms for players: we are going to have 112 beds for players to come in and even more for staff; we are going to have staff suites and staff dorms and places for them to stay as well.”
During this international free agent signing period, the Marlins were very aggressive, signing nearly 40 players so far. According to Lorenzo, the pending opening of the complex and the addition of a second DSL team paved the way for his team’s strategy to spread their bonus pool of just over $5 million around, bringing in many names they believe could be future big leaguers.
“I can’t overstate just how much this impacts the organization in terms of establishing our presence in Latin America which is our goal to kind of lead that charge. I think it’s a really viable way to grow your organization,” Lorenzo said. “We’re the Miami Marlins. We are the gateway to Latin America. It’s pretty important that we have a pretty big presence.”
Headlining the Marlins’ class this year is infielder Yoffry Solano, MLB Pipeline’s 44th ranked prospect. He earned a $750,000 signing bonus, expected to be, by far, the most lucrative bonus given out by the Marlins in this year’s class. Lorenzo said Solano personifies a lot of what he and his team look for in a prospect.
“He’s a guy we’ve had our eye on for quite a bit of time. An up the middle profile player, really strong pound for pound, really twitchy with switch hit ability. He could really perform for us in a lot our evaluations especially offensively,” Lorenzo said. “He checks a lot of the boxes that we like in terms of up the middle athletes with athletic twitchy actions and a chance to hit.”
Lorenzo’s excitement and confidence in his inaugural signing class is not limited to just Solano.
“We could eat up a few hours just talking about those types of (under-the-radar) players. I have high levels of excitement for each of them.” Lorenzo said before calling out multiple names including OF Antony Peguero, RHP Jhon Cabral, RHP Santiago Suarez, OF Toby Simmons, IF Cherif Neymour, IF Lisandro Bonifacio and others as names that we may hear about “in short order” it’s they start their careers this coming season.
While the Marlins and baseball as a whole have focused mostly on the same countries in recent international signing periods, Lorenzo said he wants to begin explore drawing from other markets in the future.
“This period we’ve been as aggressive in Venezuela, we’ve been pretty aggressive in the Bahamas which is a market I hope we have identified as being on the upswing… the Mexican player market is also quite interesting, Colombia, Nicaragua, Curaçao is a favorite of mine,” Lorenzo said. “We are very much open to signing players from all places. At the moment, the priority countries have been the DR, Venezuela, Cuba, Bahamas. But we will continue to adjust as we see fit.”
Behind the expertise of Lorenzo and his staff including new international scouting director Roman Ocumarez, the Marlins are primed to become the beacon for young professional baseball players in Latin America. Due to the work currently being done by this department, the Marlins will be a preferred destination for international prospects and they will be cared for and developed better than ever. In creating a sustainable winning organization and feeder system, this is a very significant step.