Padres set to add Cuban RHP Luis Madrazo

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Cuba Baseball

A report out of the Dominican Republic indicates the San Diego Padres are set to sign Cuban RHP Luis Madrazo this January. 

The San Diego Padres continue to add players at the international level.

A.J. Preller and his staff do not sleep in this regard. They are always on the search for new talent.

The new signing period does not begin until January 15, but that does not stop information from being released about potential signees.

A report coming out of the Dominican Republic from Francys Romero indicates the Padres will sign an interesting 22-year-old pitcher with decent upside. The Cuban pitcher defected in 2018 after one season with Las Tuna in the Cuban League. Madrazo recorded a 4.73 ERA in 13.1 innings pitched during the 2017-18 season. The Padres already have several young Cuban pitchers in the system led by Adrian Morejon and Michel Baez.

Luis Madrazo is 6-foot-4 and armed with a fastball that sits in the 93-95 mph range. The big hurler is described as a pitcher who works fast and attacks hitters. According to Romero, Madrazo arrived in the D.R. in 2018 but had an illness and problems reaching his potential. He flew under the radar until May of this year, when he began generating interest.

Madrazo was originally set to sign with the Rays, but it now appears as though the Padres will be his choice. There is still time for him to change his mind before he signs the ink on the contract. However, it appears as though the Padres will add Madrazo on January 15 for a reported $10,000.

The Cuban pitcher is 22 and more polished than most international players. The feeling is that he can start right away in the States and could be a viable prospect in the next 6-18 months. The Padres will take a good look at him this coming spring.

San Diego will try to get the most out of this young pitcher. Chris Kemp and his minor league developmental staff will enjoy this young man as he brings a lot of athleticism. His repertoire is a work in progress. The slider is described as his best secondary pitch. He gets a great spin on the pitch, and it should generate strikeouts for the Cuban right-hander. Madrazo also throws a split finger-fast ball and changeup. Both pitches are in need of work but could be serviceable in time.

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Madrazo could develop into a mid-rotation starter. That all depends on the development of his offspeed stuff, which lacks refinement presently. The signing of this young pitcher will become final in January and will probably be one of several as the Padres begin restocking the minor leagues. A.J. Preller may be involved in talks to upgrade the major league team presently, but the minor leagues are always at his heart. The Padres’ system will continue to flourish.

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