The International Free Agent Signing period began today and will go until July 15th. Beginning today, clubs can sign the best amateur talent from places like Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. The Padres did just that, adding two pitchers and two hitters to their farm system.
The Pads signed 16-year-old right-handed pitcher Pedro Beltran, and 17-year-old left-handed pitcher Eduardo Solano, both from the Dominican Republic. They also added 16-year-old shortstop Elvis Sabala from the Dominican Republic and 16-year-old catcher Ricardo Rodriguez from Venezuela. Rodriguez is the 30th ranked prospect on MLB.com’s list of available prospects.
Here is Rodriguez’ scouting report on mlb.com:
Scouting Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55
Scouts like Rodriguez’s prowess behind the plate, and his power potential when he’s in the batter’s box. He has a reputation for being a below-average runner, but he makes up for the shortcoming with a solid arm and reliable defense. He has also impressed evaluators with his poise, intelligence and baseball IQ.
Rodriguez projects to be an average hitter, and is expected to improve in that area as he matures and plays in games regularly.
Rodriguez seems to do everything well, and that’s a big reason scouts believe he should be considered among the top catchers on the market this year. A member of Venezuela’s Under-15 national team, Rodriguez also has international tournament experience on his resume.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound teen trains on Margarita Island, Venezuela, with Ciro Barrios. The San Diego Padres have expressed serious interest in the teenage prospect.
Remember, these kids are going to be a few years away, don’t expect them to be at Petco anytime soon.