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Pirates officially sign 16-year-old pitcher Luis Heredia
08/24/2010 4:51 PM ET

The Pittsburgh Pirates today officially signed 16-year-old right-handed pitcher Luis Heredia in Mazatlan, Mexico. Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager Neal Huntington, Director of Baseball Operations Ty Brooks, Director of Latin American Scouting Rene Gayo and Pirates internatioal scout Chino Valdez were all in attendance at the signing at the El Cid Marina Beach Club earlier today.

The 6'6" Heredia was ranked by Baseball America as the top pitching prospect internationally entering 2010. Earlier this month at the Japan Boys Tournament held in Mazatlan, Mexico, Heredia threw a total of 88 pitches in a game with a fastball topping out at 94 miles per hour while striking eight out batters in 5.0 innings of work.

Heredia's signing attracted more than 100 fans and a large contingent of media, including ESPN Deportes. In addition, six Mexican-born Pirates farmhands who played for the 2010 Venezuelan Summer League Pirates championship team (Jesus Barraza, Carlos Esqueda, Jovany Lopez, Norman Elenes, Jose Marrujo and Remberto Romo) were on hand when Heredia signed his contract.

"Today was a special day and the culmination of much hard work by Rene Gayo and Chino Valdez without whom, we would have had the opportunity to sign Luis Heredia," said Huntington. "It is also the beginning of the next step for Luis, his family and the Pirates as we all work to help this young man fulfill his vast potential. The energy and excitement at today's press conference is a reminder of the good that is on the horizon."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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