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Royals Sign 16-Year Old Venezuelan Shortstop For $1.1 Million

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The Kansas City Royals are getting a little more aggressive in the international game. Ben Badler of Baseball America reports the Royals have officially signed Humberto Arteaga, a 16-year old shortstop out of Valencia.

Arteaga, 16, is a 6-foot, 160-pound shortstop from Valencia who has stood out for his abilities in the field. Rene Francisco, the Royals' special assistant to the general manager in charge of international operations, said Arteaga's defense, work ethic, intelligence and feel for the game were among the qualities that caught the organization's attention.

"He's a surehanded shortstop," Francisco said. "(His range is) enough to play shortstop and make the play from the hole. His quickness, his anticipation at shortstop, how to position himself—it's really, really good for his age."

The Royals have been following him since he was 13 years old. The projection on him is that he's an average runner and won't hit for much power but the Royals do believe he can hit. He recently started switch-hitting but will bat on the right side in the pros.

"It's more of a contact, line-drive type bat," Francisco said. "It's a simple, compact stroke. We think he's going to make a lot of contact."

Arteaga becomes the sixth seven-figure international bonus baby since the signing period opened on July 2.

Royals Review has an excellent discussion on the topic so hop on over there and take a look.