Padres high on Dominican signings

The San Diego Padres believe they bolstered their Dominican contingent with the signings of Felix Carrasco and Alexis Lara two weeks ago. Randy Smith, the Padres' Director of international scouting, and Grady Fuson, the Padres vice president of scouting and player development, gave us scouting reports on each.

Usually, Dominican born players are nabbed early but in this case both have passed their 18th birthdays.

"A little bit older - both 19 - but that is not terribly unusual," countered Smith. "They are both high profile guys."

Felix Carrasco, a 19-year old third baseman was signed for $150K. At 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, the Padres are intrigued by his power potential.

Carrasco was looking for a lot of money coming out and the courting process took a little bit longer, until both parties were satisfied with the sum being offered.

"A switch-hitter with big time raw power from the left side," said Smith. "He has big time power and surprising agility for his size."

"A big, physical third baseman with raw, raw power," Fuson agreed. "He has life in his hitting hands and a good approach a the plate. Not a bad runner for his size, he ran a 6.86 sixty. And he has a good arm."

Alexis Lara, a right-handed pitcher, signed for $60K by the Padres. At 5-fooot-11, 165-pounds, San Diego was tickled by his live arm and ability to throw two pitches for strikes.

"A live-bodied right-hander," Fuson began. "A Pedro (Martinez) looking frame from when he was 18, 19 years old. He has terrific arm speed with the makings of a wipe out slider.

"The workout I saw he got up to 93 on the radar. He has two good pitches, the fastball and slider."

Smith added: "A lean, wiry kid. We had him touching 94 with some sink and life to it and a hard slider.

There is some concern with Lara, and more specifically with his deliver.

"He has a violent delivery," Fuson admitted. "We are a little concerned with it but will work hard with him to smooth it out."

"A little bit of effort in his delivery," Smith agreed before adding, "that stage throwing that kind of velocity is pretty good."

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