While Oakland has established itself as the favorite at this point to sign 16-year-old righthander Michel Inoa, there is another West Coast team emerging as a significant player in Latin America: the Padres.
When the July 2 signing period begins, international sources say the Padres will sign at least two players to seven-figure deals, with a third possibly happening if they can secure a deal with Adis Portillo.
Last year, the Padres spent nearly $1.9 million during the international signing period on five players, with nearly 90 percent of that money going to shortstop Jonathan Galvez ($750,000) and outfielder Rymer Liriano ($300,000). This year, international scouts expect one of San Diego's top international signs to be outfielder Luis Domoromo, who international scouts say will likely receive a $1.2 million bonus on July 2.
Like Julio Morban, Domoromo may lack the raw physical abilities of Yorman Rodriguez and Rafael Rodriguez, but scouts see potential in the bat of the 16-year-old from Venezuela. Domoromo is a power-hitting outfielder, though scouts say his ability to translate his raw power from batting practice into game situations will determine his future. A lefthanded hitter, Domoromo is primarily a pull hitter right now.
"He's not a real toolsy guy, but he's got a good body," said one international scouting director. "He's a strong kid who has some power. He's one of those guys you sign and they have to hit."
Another scout said that in the field Domoromo is a "limited outfielder" with an average arm that projects to be a tick above average in the future.
"He's got some power—that's going to be his ticket," said the scout. "I like the kid because he does have a beautiful stroke and he stays back. He can generate some bat speed to get the ball out. I don't think he's going to be a .300 hitter or even a .280 hitter. He might be more of a .250 hitter with power, maybe 20 to 25 home runs a year if everything works for him."
"He's a little bit stiff," added another international scouting director. "He's got good power in (batting practice); you just never know what's going to happen when he gets to the next level."