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Mariners sign 19-year-old Okuda

Mariners sign 19-year-old Okuda

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The Mariners signed 19-year-old amateur shortstop Pedro Okuda to a Minor League contract on Wednesday, the club announced.

Okuda is expected to join the Mariners' Venezuela Academy after he graduates from high school this spring and will play there during the 2010 season.

The left-handed-hitting Okuda was born and raised in Brazil but attended high school in Japan. Yasushi Yamamoto and Pat Kelly, the Mariners scouts who signed him as a non-drafted free agent, first scouted Okuda in a youth tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May 2006.

Okuda measures in at 5-foot-10 and about 160 pounds.

"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," Mariners vice president of international operations Bob Engle said in a statement. "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."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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