There's never been a major league baseball player to come out of New Zealand. And despite reports from the country that 17-year-old first baseman Pita Rona has signed a seven-year "major league" contract with the
The Orioles have signed the 6-foot-5, 175-pound Rona to a minor-league deal and he will report to
The fact that Rona is reporting to the Australian academy indicates he's a raw player. Usually players will play there for one to two years and then those deemed as real prospects come to the states at the lowest level of minor league baseball.
So maybe you see him in the Gulf Coast League in 2013 at the earliest. Needless to say, he's a long way from the majors -- both literally and figuratively. But it is another sign that the Orioles are willing to span the globe for international talent.