The Padres continue to up the ante in rebuilding their international prospect depth, and now are the favorites to land two Cuban players according to a report by Baseball America. According to the report, Jorge Ona and Adrian Morejon might be signed by the Friars before they reach international free agency even.
Jorge Ona is just 19 years old but as a rightfielder playing last year in the Pan American Championships he played well and raised his international reputation as a talent to watch. He went 14-22 in the Series and had 8 walks to go along with his solid performance. He has a good compact swing and also showed how we can spray the ball to all fields, a talent that plays well in spacious Petco Park down the line.
Morjeron is a left-handed pitcher who is slightly under-statued at 5’11”, but his fastball has been clocked in the low 90’s and he won’t even turn 17 until the end of this month. He is still growing into his frame and certainly capturing his talent young seems like a low risk bargain the Padres can certainly afford to take. He has been absolutely dominating in amateur tournaments but of course has a long way to go until those stats mean too much.
Due to international signing pools and bonuses, the Padres can’t sign him until July 2nd because of how much they have already spent – but the increased spending on international talent is all to help grow their minor league system which even after (or perhaps – only after) some of the trades they made this year to add prospects still ranks 25th in the major leagues of the 30 teams.
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The Padres seem to be setting themselves up well for the future with these international signings and draft picks – the question Padres fans have is how come this path hasn’t been taken years before? Are we seeing the same old story once again with promise of a future that never arrives – or will Preller and Co. help write a different story this time around?