As he takes over Marlins’ international operations department, Lorenzo sees room for growth

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A decade ago, Adrian Lorenzo said he would have called his current situation the “best-case scenario.” He was just starting out in an MLB front office, an intern in 2013 for the Boston Red Sox. He’s worked his up from from that point.

Today? He’s the senior director of international operations for his hometown Miami Marlins.

“My parents went to the first Marlins game ever,” said Lorenzo, who grew up in Miami, graduated from Belen Jesuit in 2007 and is heading into his fourth season in the Marlins organization. “I grew up a Marlin, so to be able to do this here is extra special. [I’m] kind of still in disbelief to this day.”

That disbelief turned into excitement during his nearly 40-minute Zoom interview on Tuesday as he looks ahead to what’s in store on the job.

The Marlins are in the midst of completing a new 35-acre player development complex in the Dominican Republic, one that will have three MLB-size playing fields, four covered batting cages and six covered pitching mounds as well as an athletic building that has a video room and weight room and a residential building with more than 100 beds. Lorenzo’s Zoom background was a rendering of the new facility.

“It’s a big upgrade from where we’ve been,” Lorenzo said, “and I think you guys are gonna see the fruits of this pretty quickly. I think the turnaround is going to be quick just in terms of the quality of the player development.”

Lorenzo and his staff have signed nearly three dozen international prospects since the signing window opened on Sunday. The large signing class comes with the Marlins getting approved to have a second team in the Dominican Summer League, one of the in-house rookie level minor-league affiliates along with the state-side Florida Complex League.

Lorenzo is now tasked with overseeing it all.

One of the biggest tasks, Lorenzo said, is to keep expanding the organization’s reach on an international level.

“There’s definitely a desire to continue to grow and be a force in international scouting and international operations,” Lorenzo said. “And I think they’ve given us the green light for us to be as aggressive as we can be, as you can see by the amount of signings [during the international free agency window]. ... Just an overall intention to be very aggressive in this market.”

For the Marlins this international signing cycle, that meant prioritizing quantity.

They turned their $5,721,200 bonus pool into a 40-player class (so far), according to Baseball America, that includes 21 players from the Dominican Republic, 14 from Venezuela, two from the Bahamas, two from Mexico and one from Colombia.

Lorenzo knows it’s not all solely on him. He credits the work that Seguignol and former international scouting manager Jacob Jola did to put the Marlins in a good place on the international side. Lorenzo also called David Hernandez Beayne, the Marlins’ new manager of international scouting, his “right hand” as he transitions into his new role. The Marlins have also added additional scouts in the Dominican Republic and to new areas in Venezuela.

“We’ve been able to grow the department,” Lorenzo said, “not just from a total player standpoint, but from a staffing standpoint.”

Lorenzo said he is making a emphasis to expand beyond the usual countries to find talent, with the Marlins looking more in depth in countries such as Nicaragua, Curacao, Brazil and Panama although there is still an importance in areas that regularly produce MLB talent.

“We’re very much open to signing players from all places,” Lorenzo said, “but at the moment, the priority countries at this point have probably been the DR, Venezuela, Cuba, the Bahamas. We’ll continue to adjust as we see fit.”

Lorenzo’s promotion was officially announced Wednesday, but he said he took a larger role in the international operations department around September or October, coinciding with the Marlins relieving then-director of international operations Fernando Seguignol of his duties in mid-September.

Prior to the promotion, Lorenzo was the Marlins’ director of baseball operations in 2021. He started his Marlins tenure as a special assistant in baseball operations and scouting in 2019 and 2020. In that role, he oversaw different aspects of both the professional scouting and international scouting departments. His six years with the Red Sox (2013-2018) included stints as the coordinator of international scouting and assistant director for international scouting.

“The international space is where I cut my teeth in baseball,” Lorenzo said, adding that he traveled to “everywhere that you play baseball in Latin America” during his time with the Red Sox. “I’ve definitely been able to leverage that a little big into this new role here.”

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