The search for and the acquisition of talent never ends for general manager Jack Zduriencik .
Today the Mariners announced that they've signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league contract.
Okuda is 5-10, 160 pounds and hits left-handed.
"Pedro is a player that we have been scouting for several years beginning when he participated in the Brazilian Baseball Confederation academy in Brazil and most recently in Japan where he is concluding his high school education," said Mariners Vice President of International Operations Bob Engle. "Thanks to the efforts of Yasushi Yamamoto and Pat Kelly, we have added a player who has proven to be an action player with a line drive swing and plus speed. Pedro is a player who has a lot of spirit and enthusiasm and we look forward to watching him develop in the Seattle Mariners organization."
Okuda was born and raised in Marília, Brazil, but attended Honjo Daiichi High School in Saitama, Japan. Engle and Hide Sueyoshi first scouted him in a youth tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil in May 2006.
Okuda is expected to join the Mariners Venezuela Academy after High School graduation in the Spring and will play there during the 2010 season.
Not a lot out there on Okuda. And really this isn't that major of signing. Okuda was failed to be drafted by the Japanese professional league. I did find a story and picture of him in Gambare, a Brazilian newspaper.
Here's the picture from the story --- the follow through on the swing looks familiar.