Padres sign two more Australians

The San Diego Padres have been dipping into the Australian market of late, thanks to the efforts of International Scouting Director Randy Smith. Their newest additions are pitcher Riki Paewai, a right-hander from Queensland, and catcher Clinton Naylor, also of Queensland.

A former catcher, Paewai has only been pitching off the hill for two years but already sports a fastball in the low 90's. Paewai, who turns 19 in March, signed on with the Padres on February 10.

A six inning shutout performance from Paewai in the Claxton Shield tournament against a NSW team filled with Australian Olympians sealed the deal.

He had always dreamed of playing pro ball in the US and now will have that chance. He will report to extended spring training in April for ten weeks and will return to the Australian Baseball Academy for six weeks before possibly heading back to Arizona for the Instructional Leagues.

The Padres also signed another player from the Queensland team. They have added Clinton Naylor, cousin to Drew Naylor, a right-hander in the Phillies organization.

The talented left hitting catcher has been scouted heavily by the Padres for some time – with local Padres scout Greg Morris and the Padres head scout Trevor Schumm following him closely through last years MLBAAP Academy and this years U18 National Titles in Geelong.

Naylor isn't expected to join the Padres in the US until March of 2006 due to school commitments.

Naylor received offers late last year from a number of MLB clubs but decided to reject them to concentrate on the National Titles in Geelong in January. That decision turned out to be a wise move as he finally settled on a six-figure bonus from the Padres and a scholarship plan thrown in for good measure.

‘The best thing about getting signed is not the opportunities that you have taken to get this far," he said from his Brisbane home. "It's the opportunities that you will have now to jump on and get to the next step. And the bonus is that there is no school work involved."

One of his best experiences was the chance to meet Cal Ripken and his brother Billy during the Cal Ripken World Series in 2001.

While Paewai is a former catcher, Naylor is a former pitcher who made the transition to catcher this year. It is no surprise that he has an above average arm and a quick release from the backstop position.

BJS Player Management contributed to this report

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