A number of recent graduates of the Little League Baseball® World Series officially signed their contracts to play with big league organizations during the start of the 2021-22 MLB International Signing Period.
With the signing period officially opening on January 15, and available for international players who were born between Sept. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2005, the following Little Leaguers® have earned their spot in the big leagues.
Clayton Campbell – Hills LL (NSW, Australia) (2016 LLBWS) – Detroit Tigers
Looking to become the first New Zealand-born player in Major League Baseball, Clayton Campbell showed off his skills at an early age in the 2016 LLBWS. On the mound in the tournament, Clayton picked up a pair of wins with a seven-strikeout, no-hit performance over Europe and Africa in his team’s opening-round game and an impressive 14-strikeout complete game performance over the Caribbean Region in an elimination game. At the plate, Clayton went 4-for-10 (.500) in four games, including a 2-for-3 performance with a walk against the Latin America Region champions.
Not many New Zealand-born players in the pro baseball ranks, but the Tigers have signed one of them: 18-year-old Clayton Campbell Jr. https://t.co/SjViQ7gcCv
— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) December 17, 2021
Victor Juarez – San Nicolas (Mexico) LL (2016 LLBWS) – Colorado Rockies
Possibly most notably known for shattering an ESPN camera during the 2016 LLBWS, Victor Juarez was an all-around impressive performer for the Mexico Region champions that year. At the plate, Victor went 9-for-14 (.643) in five games throughout the tournament, including falling only a home run shy of the cycle against Europe and Africa while later picking up that home run with a two-run shot against Australia two games later. On the mound, Victor made three starts throughout the tournament, picking up the win over Canada after throwing three innings of shutout ball while picking up seven strikeouts.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) July 14, 2019
Esmith Pineda – Aguadule (Panama) Cabezera LL (2016 LLBWS) – Cincinnati Reds
One of the most memorable moments on the mound for Esmith Pineda during the 2016 LLBWS came during his first pitching performance against Australia, striking out 11 batters in five innings of work to help lead his team to a 3-2 victory. At the plate, Esmith finished the tournament batting 4-for-16 (.250), including an opening game home run against Mexico to help give his team its first victory of the tournament. During the third-place game, Esmith finished the tournament in style, blasting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the sixth to take down the Southeast Region, 3-2, and earn the third-place title.
Reds added right fielder Esmith Pineda to their class of international signees. Pineda starred for Panama in the 2016 Little League World Series.
“He’s going to have big power.”https://t.co/uDUfUvBhbE
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) January 17, 2022
Omar Romero – Luz-Maracaibo (Venezuela) LL (2017 LLBWS) – Toronto Blue Jays
Known for his exciting personality and incredible skills on the field, Omar Romero was the spark plug for the Latin America Region team in the 2017 LLBWS. Defensively, Omar’s skills shined as he helped turn a pair of double plays against Mexico in the opening round, and finished the tournament error-free. At the plate, his most exciting moment came with a walk-off triple in an elimination game against the Dominican Republic, leading to one of the biggest acts of sportsmanship in the Little League World Series.
— Con Las Bases Llenas (@ConLasBasesFull) January 17, 2022
Adan Sanchez – Vacamonte LL (Arraijan, Panama) (2018 LLBWS) – Chicago Cubs
In three games at the 2018 LLBWS, Adan Sanchez was able to pull together for three hits in seven at bats (.714) while driving in four RBI and scoring three runs on his own. With a three-run home run in the opening game against Canada, Adan put up hits in each of his next two games, including a RBI single against Japan to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the fourth. After picking up the save against Canada with a trio of strikeouts, Adan came back and threw 4.2 innings of work against Japan, picking up another nine strikeouts while only allowing three hits despite the loss.
— 𝗬𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗹𝗸𝗮 𝗖ó𝗿𝗱𝗼𝗯𝗮 (@yasilkaoficial) January 17, 2022
Erick Torres – Los Bravos de Pontezuela LL (Santiago, D.R.) (2017 LLBWS) – Kansas City Royals
During the 2017 LLBWS, Erick Torres helped lead his team as a solid third baseman throughout the entire tournament, picking up three assists and a pair of putouts without committing an error in three games. On the mound, Erick also picked up a save in an 8-7 victory over Australia after coming in to pick up the final out of the game.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 15, 2022
NOTE: If you know of a notable Little League Baseball World Series graduate that was not included above, please complete the above Little League Alumni Submission form.