The San Diego Padres have signed Cuban left-hander Adrian Morejon for a reported $11,000,000 bonus according to multiple sources including Ben Badler at Baseball America. Morejon is widely regarded as the top pitcher available on the international market this year. Due to his age (17) he is subject to international bonus pool restrictions and by himself puts the Padres over their limit for this year. They are subject to a 100% overage tax, meaning that signing Morejon will actually cost them $22,000,000.
What are they getting for their money?
Morejon was born February 27, 1999. The 17-year-old is listed at 6-1, 195. He has been on the radar for a couple of years now, his fastball steadily improving from the mid-80s three years ago into the 90-95 range at present. His curveball is impressive and he has two different styles of change-up. His command is another plus, very sharp for his age. His mechanics are easy and repeatable and he generates his velocity without undue effort.
Young pitching is always a risky demographic and we'll have to see what kind of workload he can handle, but Morejon looks like an excellent prospect to me. He would be in the mix for number one overall if he entered the 2017 draft. If all goes according to plan, he can be a top of the rotation starter throwing strikes with three or four above-average pitches.
Video from JDB Baseball