Padres Ready for Strong 2019 July 2 Class

Credit: JDB

Credit: MiLB

After being in the penalty box during the last two international signing periods as a result of signing a bevy of young talent in 2016, the Padres are once again set to add high-profile players to their ever-growing farm system. As the team moves closer towards being competitive at the major league level, their approach on the amateur side has remained focused on continuing to add talent to the minor league system. 

On Tuesday next week, the International Amateur Signing Period begins, giving teams around the league a chance to sign the best international amateur players around the world officially.

The Padres had a huge signing class three years ago, spending approximately $80 million on numerous talented amateur players who have been vital to the team’s process of creating what is widely considered to be the best farm system in baseball. Three years later, San Diego is ready to bring in the next group of talented teenagers to their talent pipeline.

The primary sources for this article are the International Amateur Signee lists of FanGraphs and MLB.com — Which have both optimistically forecast a strong group of signees for the Padres this year.

Let’s discuss those players soon to be signed:

  1. Reginald Preciado – Panama
Position Height Weight Bats / Throws Age
Shortstop 6’4” 180 Switch / Right 16.1

Preciado is an above-average thrower and fielder at the shortstop position, who is projected to have a lighter bat. Now that doesn’t sound particularly impressive, but this is a player who is rumored to become the highest-paid Panamanian amateur in history. So at the very minimum, he sounds like a player with the potential to be a utility infielder, with a future that is likely even brighter if he develops well. He’s young for the class and has a projectable frame to grow into, which are both very good signs for the shortstop. Below is a video of him playing in the 2015 under-15 World Cup:

2. Ismael Mena – Dominican Republic

Position Height Weight Bats / Throws Age
Center Field 6’3” 185 Left / Left 16.6

An athletic center fielder who is a plus runner, Mena has the ideal frame for a young prospect at 6’3” and 185 pounds. His profile is more dependent upon his ability to hit because his fielding abilities are average. Nonetheless, his hitting has the potential to be above-average along with his power. As a whole, he’s a very projectable player with the athleticism to be an impact player with the bat. Below is his workout video:

3. Brayan Medina – Venezuela

Position Height Weight Bats / Throws Age
Pitcher 6’2” 180 Right / Right 16.7

Regarded by many as the best pitcher available in this year’s July 2 class from Venezuela, Medina has a projectable frame that should help him add velocity to an already impressive fastball that has sat 93-97 mph. He also throws a solid changeup and slider, though his best pitch is certainly his fastball. Considering how hard he already throws, it’s easy to dream on the potential he has as a pitcher. Here is a brief video of him pitching:

4. Luis Gutierrez – Venezuela

Position Height Weight Bats / Throws Age
Pitcher 5’11” 170 Left / Left 15.9

Although he is young, Gutierrez will have plenty of time to define himself as he develops in the Padres’ minor league system. His fastball sits in the upper 80s presently, and his repertoire as a whole is projected to be average. The thing is that we’re talking about a pitcher who isn’t even 16 yet and has more than enough time to improve in the years to come. He also has plenty of time to fill out and add muscle. This isn’t the kind of player who will rocket to the big leagues but may be very useful sometime down the line.

Those are the four most significant prospects the Padres are inking to deals during the upcoming July 2 international amateur signing period. Unfortunately, there isn’t any other publicly available information regarding the amateur players who will be signed this summer by MLB teams. What we do know is that the Padres will add a significant amount of talent to their organization in a week. It’s further evidence of the strong job done by GM A.J. Preller in continually acquiring new talent to infuse the minor league system with. The pipeline in San Diego is alive and well, and this upcoming international class is simply further evidence of that reality.

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Conrad Parrish
A sophomore at Willamette University in Oregon, Conrad is majoring in Spanish but is also a writing center assistant for other students at Willamette. He has been a Padres die-hard his whole life and hopes to bring comprehensible statistical analysis to the site.

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