Padres’ top international signing has connection with perennial MLB All-Star

The jewel of the Padres' international signing class knows how to pick the right mentor.
Sep 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) hits an RBI
Sep 22, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) hits an RBI / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

When the San Diego Padres signed Leo De Vries on Monday, it was well-established that he was arguably the best international free agent in this year's class.

The switch-hitting shortstop already possesses pure hitting ability well beyond his years and he should hit for some power from both sides of the plate. Despite being just 17 years old, there's already chatter De Vries could get fast-tracked by the Padres similar to the development path we have seen from top prospect Ethan Salas.

So how does a 17-year-old from the Dominican Republic already have such a high level of pitch recognition and such a mature approach at the plate? As it turns out, he's had a little bit of help along the way.

De Vries revealed in an interview that he has built a strong relationship early on with one of the best hitters in the league in Jose Ramirez.

Padres' Leo De Vries got a head start on being a pro from Jose Ramirez

De Vries' interview as a whole was great, but one answer stood out when he was asked about his relationship with Ramirez. De Vries was quick to point out that he knows Ramirez, who is also from the Dominican Republic, very well and considers him a brother. He went further to point out that Ramirez has given him advice for on-field and off-field questions as they came up. You love to see it.

Now, just because De Vries is on a first name basis with a guy doesn't mean he's a lock to become a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate like Ramirez has been. That would be sweet, but betting on a 17-year-old kid getting there is jumping the gun a bit.

However, it does mean De Vries has remained open to input from those who have established themselves in the sport and used that input to get better. For any player as young and talented as De Vries is, that's often the toughest hurdle to overcome.

Assuming he can continue to take coaching advice and turn it into results, San Diego may have yet another fast-rising, high-upside prospect on their hands.

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