San Diego Padres DSL 2018 – A Firsthand Recap

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Padres DSL

In late July of 2018, the author of this piece (Jeffrey Pilch) spent some time in the Dominican Republic to watch the DSL Padres play. He gained much knowledge from the trip. Here is a brief glimpse into what was found. Enjoy.

For only the third time in 14 Dominican Summer League seasons, the DSL Padres recorded a winning season in 2018, going 37-35 to finish fourth in the DSL’s Baseball City division.

The Padres were in the top 10 in most pitching categories despite having one of the youngest pitching staffs (averaging 17.9 years of age) in a league of 44 teams.  

They had an ERA of 3.22, WHIP of 1.24 and BB/9 of 3.3, with the ERA marking an impressive improvement compared to recent seasons.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/league.cgi?id=015e1acb

One pitcher who may have an especially bright future is left-hander Manuel Partida, who had a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this year. He turns 18 on Sept. 25.

Padres international scouting director Chris Kemp compared him to Jon Lester when Partida was signed out of Mexico last year for $350,000.

Here are some brief looks at him throwing in late July:

 

Kemp assessed Partida’s stuff:

“It’s a true four-pitch mix, and he throws strikes. Fastball, slider, curve, and change with the fastball around 87-89 (mph) now. His fastball could settle in at 90-93 by the time he turns 20.”

DSL Padres pitching coach Nelson Cruz said Cuban righty Edgar Martinez, another 17-year-old, is also a top prospect.  He already throws 90+ and is effective with both a slider and curve.

Matching him up today with video from two years ago, it is clear that Martinez has tightened up his mechanics.

Righty Miguel Rondon, 17, from Venezuela, is also liked by Padres management.

https://twitter.com/texpadres/status/1033579450116579328

Nick Rios, a $140,000 signee last year, is a left-hander from Venezuela who also had a good year, though in limited action.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=rios–000nic

On the offensive and defensive side, there were also some bright spots with switch hitting catcher/first baseman Brandon Valenzuela having a good second half with bat (.264/.398/.363/.761).

Shortstop Yeison Santana was described by Kemp as having a “really young, live body – he has really slick actions at short. I think he can play the position, and he’s offensive minded.” Here is a short clip of him:

Seventeen year old Emmanuel Guerra is in his second season for the DSL Padres and has shown some flashes of power.

 

There is more on this DSL team if you check out @texpadres, with video highlights all with the noises of the game. It was great seeing Padres executive Moises Alou at the complex teaching and instructing like a madman. The Diamondbacks staff was amazingly accommodating towards my wife and I and they run a very well-oiled machine at their Dominican Complex/Academy as well.

Moises Alou’s presence is felt in the Padres DR camp – he is very engaged in the operation in the DR – instructing during most of the game that I attended. His knowledge of the game, along with his connections, will undoubtedly make a difference.

Looking forward, the Padres were still, of course, under the last year of their $300,00 signing limit.

Here was the 2018 group that they signed in July and a who we can look forward to seeing next year.

Euribel Angeles, SS, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Neifi Antunez,SS, Venezuela — $300,000

Charlie Aquino, SS, Dominican Republic –$300,000
Nerwilian Cedeno, SS, Venezuela — $300,000

Josttin Diaz, SS, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Reginald Dowston, OF, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Albert Fabian, OF, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Eduardo Hidalgo, OF, Venezuela — $300,000
Francisco Lucumi, RHP, Colombia — $300,000

Wilmert Paula, SS, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Axcel Peralta, 1B, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Alex Ramirez, C, Venezuela — $300,000

Emanuel Rodriguez, SS, Dominican Republic — $300,000

Edwin Rojas, OF, Venezuela — $300,000

Wilfredo Tovar, C, Venezuela — $300,000

Jose Miguel Velez, of, Dominican Republic — $300,000 signing bonus

Justin Diaz, ss, Dominican Republic — $300,000 signing bonus

Eddyson Moreno, of, Dominican Republic. — $100,000 signing bonus

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Jeffrey Pilch
Jeffrey grew up in Carlsbad and has been a Padres fan since the late 70's. He is currently a Social Studies teacher at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, Texas.

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