The Pirates have signed two pitchers from India as non-drafted free agents.
Rinku Singh, 20, a left-handed pitcher, and Dinesh Kumar Patel, 19, were the top contenders to emerge from the first 30,000 entrants in the "Million Dollar Arm" contest in India. The winners threw the most pitches 85 miles per hour or faster for strikes.
They are the first Indian-born players to sign a professional sports contract outside of the country, according to the Pirates.
"The Pirates are committed to creatively adding talent to our organization. By adding these two young men, we are pleased to not only add two prospects to our system but also hope to open a pathway to an untapped market," said Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington. "We are intrigued by Patel's arm strength and Singh's frame and potential. These young men have improved a tremendous amount in their six month exposure to baseball and we look forward to helping them continue to fulfill their potential."
Singh and Patel worked out for scouts from the Pirates and other MLB teams earlier this month at the University of Southern California.
More details in tomorrow's Post-Gazette.