The 2021 international signing period is set to begin on January 15, and the San Diego Padres will be active.
A.J. Preller and his staff have done well over the years with the teenage talent available. The Padres presently possess a flourishing DSL team which finished with the best overall record of all the team’s affiliates in 2021. They will add to the group in January with some exciting young players.
In the past, July 2 was the date when teams were able to sign these teenage talents. However, because of the pandemic and other issues, the date was pushed back to next month. Not a big deal as the Padres were able to take closer looks at all the potential players.
The Padres are linked to three players who are in the top-50 prospect list by MLB.com.
Two infielders and a shortstop are the linked players as of now. There could be a surprise or two before the free-for-all starts next month. Never put anything past A.J. Preller and his staff led by Chris Kemp.
Here is a look at the three men who could be Padres’ minor leaguers next month.
Yendry Rojas- SS (Hit-50, Power-50, Run-50, Arm-50, Field-55, Overall-55)
Described as a young Yoan Moncada, this left-handed hitter is blessed with strong skills. The 16-year-old has good size (6-foot-1/190 lbs) and should gain more muscle in time. Rojas shows excellent foot speed for his size. Presently, Rojas plays shortstop, but there is a possibility he moves to third base as his power and strength increase. The Cuban infielder should be a highly-touted prospect in time. The swing is fluid, and he shows a great ability to use the whole field. The Cuban teenager should climb to the upper minor league levels at the very least for the Padres. There is a decent floor with this prospect.
Rosman Verdugo- SS (Hit-55, Power-50, Run-50, Arm-50, Field- 50, Overall- 50)
Verdugo is the top-hitting prospect out of Mexico. The right-handed hitter is solid across the board and does not jump out with his abilities just yet. Most agree his bat is his best tool now as he already shows a great eye at the plate and an ability to recognize what pitchers are trying to do to him. There is not much power in the swing yet, but the 16-year-old could develop home run hitting ability when it is all said and done. The swing is free and loose. He also shows great balance at the plate and hardly any head movement. There is a lot to like about his swing mechanics. Defensively, there is also a lot to admire. Most evaluators think a move to third base or second base will be necessary in time. But he could remain at shortstop if he improves the footwork.
Jarlin Susana- RHP (Fastball- 55, Slider- 50, Changeup- 50, Curveball- 50, Overall- 50)
This right-handed pitcher is regarded as the best pitching prospect in the whole 2022 class. The tall right-hander has excellent size for a 17-year-old. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound pitcher who trains in the D.R. throws extremely hard utilizing great extension with his motion. With a fastball clocked as high as 96-97 mph range, Susana should climb the minor league ranks fairly quickly. In time, he should be a triple-digit fastball pitcher. The offspeed stuff will need refinement, but he is already showing a plus power slider with great movement. There is a high ceiling here as Susana could remain a starting pitcher. The Padres will take it slow with the 17-year-old as he has an excellent upside.
A 16-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic has caught the attention of MLB teams late in the scouting process ahead of Jan. 15.
At 6-foot-5, he was recently seen touching 96 mph.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) October 15, 2020
*Grades and information courtesy of MLB.com