The Padres have agreed to terms with ten top international prospects, many of them reported by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (Twitter links: 1 2 3 4 5 6). The new Padres receiving at least $1M bonuses include Dominican shortstop Luis Almanzar ($4MM), Venezuelan shortstop Gabriel Arias ($1.9MM), Dominican outfielder Jeisson Rosario ($1.85MM), Mexican outfielder Tirso Ornelas ($1.5MM), Venezuelan shortstop Justin Lopez ($1.2MM) and Dominican shortstop Jordy Barley ($1M).
The Padres also made a number signings that appear to be smaller but still significant, nabbing Venezuelan catcher Alison Quintero ($830K, according to Sanchez), Dominican righty Jose Manuel Guzman ($400K, via Baseball America’s signing tracker), Dominican righty Michell Miliano and Venezuelan shortstop Tucupipa Marcano. All told, it looks like San Diego landed a huge haul.
All six players were ranked in MLB.com’s list of the top 30 international amateurs available. Here are a few notes from MLB’s scouting reports. Almanzar ranks No. 3 and has a good bat and the potential to have a well-rounded game, with solid defensive tools and a good arm. Baseball America’s subscriber-only scouting report praises his “calm, balanced” approach at the plate, noting that scouts are divided about whether he can stick at shortstop or will have to move to second or third. Via MLB.com, Arias (No. 5) could eventually hit for average and power and has good hands on defense, though he might eventually wind up at either third base or outfield. Baseball America describes Arias as a potential 15- to 20-homer hitter.
Rosario (No. 9) projects to be an everyday outfielder in the big leagues, perhaps with a good bat. Ornelas (No. 28) makes solid contact offensively; he could eventually play first base, although MLB.com also notes he could be a utility player, the kind of open-ended evaluation perhaps typical of a 16-year-old with an unknown future ahead. Lopez (No. 27) wins praise for his defense, although he also has an improving bat. Barley (No. 15) is very fast, with good defensive actions and a strong arm.
With these signings, the Padres obviously will blow well past their international bonus pool, which is $3,347,600. They figure to pay a 100 percent tax on their pool overage, and will not be able to sign any player for more than $300K in either of the next two signing seasons.