Padres Sign Five Top International Prospects

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.

–Albert Einstein

I’m no Einstein, but I certainly think of the future. So, apparently, do the Padres. As threatened, they have proven to be major players in this year’s international market.

In our recent discussion with Sandy Alderson, he indicated that the Padres hoped to “sign some players that we think are a cut above what we’ve been able to sign in previous years,” and that’s precisely what they’ve done.

On July 2, the Padres, who have been criticized in the past for not investing as heavily in amateur talent as they might, shelled out $5 million on five players: RHP Adis Portillo, SS Alvaro Aristy, OF Luis Domoromo, INF/OF Corey Adamson, and RHP Elvin Tavarez. Baseball America‘s Ben Badler and the Padres’ own Paul DePodesta offer their thoughts on the quintet.

Adamson hails from Australia, while the other four all ranked among the top 10 Latino prospects of 2008 according to an article penned by ESPN’s Enrique Rojas last month. Bearing in mind that these kids are 16 years old and a long way from the big leagues, this is a pretty nice haul, especially for a franchise that typically hasn’t been at (or anywhere near) the forefront of the international market.

Whether this young talent turns into anything of value down the line remains to be seen. Still, the club appears to be making an honest effort. Hey, it’s a start…

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57 Responses »

  1. I guess now we’ll see if Hundley can play at the big-league level, eh?

  2. #1@Phantom: Possibly a Khalil Greene bat at catcher. Not going to help with our OBP problems, but an upgrade over the Zombie Barrett the Cubs shipped us. Poor Barrett. What’s next, tripping over the baseline and blowing out an ACL? The guy’s had nothing but bad luck.

  3. I’m in a sense glad that Barrett got knocked like that – don’t get me wrong I don’t wish harm on anyone and hope he recovers. But I’m glad to get him out of the lineup and get the chance to observe another of our ‘young gun’ prospects in Hundley. Let’s face it, Barrett was a disaster his entire time with the Padres even though I agree entirely with the decision to acquire him last year. he needed to go and now he’s gone for a bit.

    Nick Hundley, prospect #2, come on down.

  4. #2@Tom Waits: Going along with the KG analogy, does this also mean he’s a good fielder?

  5. So does the last 2 performances from Wolf and Maddux kill both of their trade values to the point where it would no longer be worth it to move them before the end of the month?

  6. #5@Steve C: I really doubt that one performace is going to kill their trade value, especially since their last starts came in Colorado.

    That being said, clubs could have concerns over their prospects for staying healthy / performing at a high level later in the season. If a club is concerned about that, then their last starts might raise a red flag. But if both guys turn in a really good start next time out or two good starts in a row, concerns over how they did in Colorado will be minimized.

  7. Last night I wrote:

    With human psychology what it is, it is easy to get enamored with what is new; with what is fresh (i.e. my own infatuation with Jaff Decker). Because of this phenomenon it is easy to overlook some of the more advanced prospects and dismiss their potential (or at least underrate that potential compared to that of the new player). Will Venable and Nick Hundley are each over-looked, underrated prospects. Will is currently hitting .315/.376/.468 with a lot of doubles (16) and a few home runs (5). Nick is hitting .227/.282/.441 with 13 doubles and 12 home runs.

    Will has been playing CF for the Beavers and we do not hear as many questions about his defense as we used to… He is a terrific athlete and was a two-time team MVP in basketball while in college. Venable could be a viable option next year.

    Nick on the other hand is likely a back-up catcher at the big league level (his lack of contact-ability prevents him from being a starter). But he does have good power and is solid defensively. It will probably be at least another year before we see Nick at the big league level on a regular basis.

  8. Steve (#5), be SHOCKED if Maddux is traded…

  9. #4@Phantom: Hundley has a pretty good defensive reputation, yes. Strong throwing arm, but BA has consistently said his blocking and receiving skills need work.

    #5@Steve C: Not killed (especially not Maddux), but drained a fair bit of it.

  10. So GY was/is in Ashland. That’s one of my favorite towns. Well, what I could see of it from The Black Sheep.

  11. #8@Peter Friberg: Not me. The Padres traded Scott Linebrink last year in the midst of a pennant race.

    I wouldn’t even be shocked to see him traded within the NL West. But more likely destinations would seem to be Chicago or Atlanta.

  12. #6@BigWorm: both of them have had terrible back to back starts its not really just one bad start each.

    I wonder if the Pads would be able to swing a Pie for Maddux deal

    or trade Wolf to the Rays for a guy like Fernando Perez.

  13. #11@Tom Waits: He was also traded for a good haul after a string of bad outings.

  14. #12@Steve C: I dont really see the point in acquiring Pie, he may be solid defensively, but he isnt much of a hitter. I also like what I have seen from Jody Gerut.