Image credit: Jorge Mateo (Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty)
The Padres made a move to supplement their roster in advance of summer camp, acquiring speedster Jorge Mateo from the Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later.
The Padres become Mateo’s third organization following stints with the Yankees and A’s.
This story will be updated once the player to be named later is announced.
Nov. 6 Update: Minor league outfielder Junior Perez has been announced as the player to be named later.
Jorge Mateo, SS
Mateo was a highly-touted prospect in the Yankees system and was traded to the A’s as part of the Sonny Gray deal in 2017, but his bat has stalled as he’s reached the upper minors. He repeated Triple-A last season and got off to a fast start before cratering in the second half. Mateo is one of the fastest runners in the minors and uses his elite speed to steal bases, turn singles into doubles and cover wide swaths of ground on defense. The problem is he struggles to get on base enough to use his speed. At his best he stays within the strike zone and lines the ball to all fields with a short, direct swing, but too often he’s tentative against velocity and a wild free swinger. Mateo is seen as a likely below-average hitter who won’t be consistent enough to play everyday. His speed, plus arm strength and ability to play both the middle infield and the outfield give him a chance to stick as a versatile bench player who can be a difference-maker as a pinch-runner.
Junior Perez, OF
Perez signed with the Padres for $300,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and emerged as one of the more intriguing young power hitters in their system. He hit .268/.349/.512 with 11 home runs, 39 RBI and 11 stolen bases in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2019, finishing second in the league in home runs and total bases (107). Perez is a big, physical right fielder whose power is his calling card. He is prone to swinging and missing and evaluators are split whether he’ll make enough contact at higher levels, but he’s shown the ability to make adjustments and improve his plate discipline to hunt pitches he can drive. Perez still very young and struggles against curveballs and sliders, but his strength and power production are things to build on.