Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana add to the Cubs shortstop surplus
Like their current minor league teammates, shortstop prospects Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana are extremely young with raw talent.
At 17 years old, Preciado was said to be the best international free agent signee out of Panama in 2019 and the #11 prospect in the Padres’ system. Listed at 6’4, 185 pounds Preciado is a switch-hitter who has the tools to be dominant on both sides of the ball.
Preciado has great bat speed and will add to his power as he continues to grow and get stronger. A quick first step, soft-hands, and an accurate and strong arm project him to be an above-average infielder, though some believe if he continues to grow he could move to third base and possibly the outfield.
Santana is the old man of this group (20-years old) and has emerged as the top prospect from San Diego’s 2017-2018 international signees. Santana slashed .346/.429/.494 in the Arizona League at the age of 18. The 5’11, 170-pound shortstop has an advanced selectively aggressive approach with a solid foundation for development on offense and defense.
In this past summer’s draft, the Cubs selected Chicago native Ed Howard with the 16th overall pick. It’ll be interesting to see what the team plans on doing with this surplus of young infielders, which already includes a 23-year-old Nico Hoerner.
To me, top prospects are like having lottery tickets. There’s no guarantee they’ll live up to their potentials, but if developed correctly the results will help an organization reach their ultimate goal (i.e. 2016 World Series).
Sure it would have been nice to get some bigger named young talent, but it’d be premature to label this trade as one-sided and fleece by the Padres. If none of these players pan out as we hoped in a few years, then we can say that. Until then, we will have to wait and see, and it is probably going to be a while.