The San Diego Padres held an invite-only camp for some of the top players eligible for the July 2 international signing date.
San Diego’s director of professional and international scouting, Randy Smith, and several front-office staffers were in the Dominican Republic last week for the two-day camp, which had about 21 players at the facility in Najayo.
Corey Brock of MLB.com notes the facility is considered the Taj Mahal of training facilities in Latin America.
Smith told Brock that this year’s class isn’t quite on par with the 2008 group, but there’s still plenty of talent.
The Padres’ camp for Latin American prospects helps the club identify players to pursue.
“Much like your draft, you get your guys in order, figure out who you want to pursue. It’s much like recruiting,” Smith said. “You sell them on your organization; sell him on your facility. The facility sells itself. It’s head and shoulders above everything else.”
Most players are between 14 and 16 years old. Only players who will turn 16 by the end of August are eligible to sign on July 2.
The Padres signed right-handed pitcher Adys Portillo (Venezuela), shortstop Alvaro Aristy (Dominican Republic), outfielder Luis Domoromo (Venezuela) and right-handed pitcher Elvin Tavarez (Dominican Republic), as well as an Australian outfielder, Corey Adamson on international signing day in 2008.