The San Diego Padres have gone off on spending on the international market. After Tuesday’s signing of Ronald Bolanos, the team has spent upwards of $65 million dollars on talent on the international market. Is that it? Is the team done spending millions on talent during this signing period? I think not.
I already told you about Yanio Perez who the Padres are linked to. Take a look at that young third baseman. Perez could be an intriguing signing for the Padres, but nothing is set in stone. He is still weighing out his options. You have to figure playing along side so many young international players will influence more to flock to the Padres.
When it comes down to making a decision to sign with the Padres (filled with international talent) or another team, the Friars will win that battle. That is exciting. I have always wondered why the team never embraced the market seriously. It is a source of talent that can really pay dividends in the long run. If you think the only talented players are in the U.S., then you are fooling yourself.
Preller knows this and understands it deeply. The Padres are in a transition period and the waves of talents that I have written extensively about are surely on their way. Like a seismic tsunami that is currently picking up pace in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the group of players the Padres signed will soon touch down on the city of San Diego and with that, wash away all the years of incompetence from this franchise.
With numerous top-30 international players signed like Adrian Morejon (#2), Luis Almanzar (#4), Gabriel Arias (#6), Jorge Ona (#8), Jeisson Rosario (#12), Jordy Barley (#18), Ronlad Bolanos (#20) and Justin Lopez (#30). The Padres have spent on the market like they have never done before. Alison Quintero (C) Venezuela ($850K), Jose Manuel Guzman (RHP) Dominican Republic ($400K), Michell Miliano (RHP) Dominican Republic ($450K), Carlos Batista (OF) Domincan Republic ($400 K), Carlos Luis (SS) Dominican Republic ($200K), Juan Vazquez (C) Dominican Republic ($100K), Tucupipa Marcano (SS) Venezuela, Martin Carrasco (RHP) Mexico, Augustin Ruiz (OF) Mexico and Luis Patinio (RHP) Colombia were all also signed by the team.
These players will contribute too and there very well could be a diamond in the rough among them. The point is the Padres have surrounded themselves with talent and just because you were drafted by the team in the lower rounds, doesn’t mean you have a guaranteed job in the minor league levels. That is what it is all about. Competition at every level (including the major leagues) and thus the product on the field will be better.
Randy Arozarena at the ago of 21 is more advanced than most of the prospects on the top-30 international prospects list. He has enough experience that it is speculated that Arozarena would have no problem starting his pro career at the High A-Ball level. Last season at Pinar Del Rio in Cuba, he had a batting line of .291/.412/.419 with three home runs. He walked 36 times while striking out 37 times in 285 at bats and 75 games. He also stole 15 bases and was second in the league in that category. He has great speed and with that it is still not clear what position he will ultimately play.
Last season he played mostly left field and center field while putting in some time at second base as well. His camp assures everyone that he is a shortstop and some scouts believe he does have the ability to play the position. For now he is listed as a second baseman and outfielder. I saw some video of him fielding and running down balls into the gap. He has excellent instincts and decent foot speed. His arm is above average as well and his throws have excellent carry to them. He could stick in center long-term or play a utility role at the major league level.
Arozarena has a very high baseball IQ. His switch hitting approach at the plate dictates he has a great opportunity to advance. Most prospects are just that (prospects) and are surely anything but a guarantee. Arozarena has most likely caught the eye of A.J. Preller and company. They are well aware of his skill set. It will be up to them to determine if he is worth the gamble. You are looking at spending somewhere upwards of $1-million dollars to sign him. That is what it will take. Do not forget the Padres are subject to a 100% tax as well so any price they pay for more talent will cost them double what they pay. It hasn’t stopped them yet but you do have to consider that when weighing your options in regards to signing him. It is reported due to some residency issues, Arozarena might not sign until after the regular season is over. It is also reported that the Cardinals have already signed this young man. No agreement has been reached as of yet. Stay tuned.