SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Baseball is checking
whether a Diamondbacks pitching prospect used his nephew's identity
to sign with the team, making him appear three years younger,
according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Birth records show that Adriano Rosario's real name is Ramon
Antonio Pena Paulino, and that he was born Jan. 9, 1982, making him
22. The real Rosario, who is Pena's nephew, turned 19 Sunday,
according to the documents.
Pena, a hard-throwing right-hander, allegedly used his nephew's
birth certificate to gain a $400,000 signing bonus with Arizona in
2002, the documents show. He signed as a free agent in June 2002.
Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations
in the commissioner's office, said that there is an ongoing
"We are aware that there are reports to that effect, and we are
looking into those reports and have communicated with the
Diamondbacks about that," Alderson said Sunday.
The Diamondbacks have denied any wrongdoing.
Scott Boras, the player's current agent, confirmed to ESPN.com Monday that his client's name is not really Adriano Rosario.
Some baseball prospects have tried to hide their ages in an
attempt to make themselves more attractive to scouts.
Dominican-born Alfonso Soriano, an All-Star second baseman, told
the Yankees last summer that he was two years older than the team
Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United
States, players who are not U.S. citizens have been required to
present birth certificates to get their visas. Dozens of Dominican
ballplayers have been found to have false identities or birth
Pena is 3-3 with a 5.44 ERA in seven outings this season at
Double-A El Paso. Last season, he went 9-5 with a 2.86 ERA at
Class-A South Bend.