Padres busy during International signing period

Club has brought 34 players into the organization despite spending cap

July 7th, 2017
16-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Angel Solarte is expected to be a five-tool MLB prospect. (MiLB)

PHILADELPHIA -- Financially, the Padres can't make quite the same commitment to amateur international talent as they did a year ago. No one can.

After spending north of $80 million during the last signing period (including taxes), the Padres are under penalty for going well over their pool allotment. Even if they weren't, Major League Baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement has put a hard cap on international spending at between $5-6 million.

But in the eyes of the Padres' scouting department, this year's signing period was simply more of the same.

"It didn't really change at all as far as getting around the players, getting to know them," said Padres international scouting director Chris Kemp. "That stays constant, regardless of how much you can spend. The other thing that really changed was knowing how the market would play out."

For the second straight year, the Padres have been one of the busiest clubs, numbers-wise, on the international market. Less than a week into the signing period, they've already brought 34 players into the organization.

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Of course, none could sign for more than $300,000 -- one of the penalties under the previous CBA for exceeding their pool allotment. Kemp never took that as a reason to be hesitant.

"The scouting strategy as far as the players, the makeup, the talent -- that all stayed the same," Kemp said. "We're still shooting for the same type of players. But the biggest difference was understanding the variables -- teams under penalty, and which way the market might go."

Here's a breakdown of a few of the Padres' more notable signings.

Angel Solarte, CF, Venezuela

A toolsy center fielder, Solarte has the looks of a big league prospect -- not to mention the above-average speed, defense, arm and bat speed. He mixes athleticism and bat speed at the plate.

Yeison Santana, SS, Dominican Republic

Santana, from the same town as Padres prospect , projects as a shortstop in the long-term (though he will need to fill out his youthful frame), with quick wrists that benefit him in the field and at the plate.

Manuel Partida, LHP, Mexico

The Padres considered Partida as the best amateur left-hander in Mexico. In that regard, they view his signing as a serious victory. Entering the year, they weren't sure he'd be available to them, given the club's monetary limitations.

Frank Lopez, RHP, Venezuela

Lopez checks in at 6-foot-2 but only 170 pounds with a fastball that touches the low 90s, and the Padres are high on his smooth mechanics. He could be the highest upside pitching prospect of the bunch if he can grow into his lanky frame.

Jarryd Dale, INF, Australia

The son of Phil Dale, who spent time as a coach in the Braves' and Reds' systems, Jarryd signed with the Padres for their max offer of $300,000. Phil is a bit of a legend in the Australian Baseball League, where he served as player/manager and won MVP, Pitcher of the Year and Manager of the Year Awards during the 1990 season.

Yerry Landinez, SS, Venezuela

A switch-hitting shortstop, Landinez will likely stick at the position, though his body is built well enough that he could project elsewhere, with an above-average arm and a solid bat.