In 2016 the padres spent upwards of $90 million on signing players on the international market. One of those guys was Cuban outfielder Jorge Ona.
In 2019, at the age of 22, he looked like he was really figuring it out with a fantastic start at Double-A Amarillo ... until a shoulder injury ended his season after just 25 games. Still, his potential prompted the Padres to protect him on their 40-man roster.
On Saturday he provided a glimpse of why in a 7-3 win over the Reds in Goodyear. Ona, who has always impressed scouts with his natural raw power, hit a majestic 2-run home run that, had it been a few feet to the right, would have cleared the giant scoreboard in left field.
Ona's shot gave the Padres a 7-0 lead. Infielder Jason Vosler also hit a 2-run homer as part of a 14-hit Padres attack. Vosler had three of those hits and is batting .636 this Spring but the San Diego system is so stacked neither he nor Ona are ranked among the club's Top-30 prospects.
On the mound Dinelson Lamet made his Cactus League debut and looked like a guy who could earn the Opening Day starter job. Lamet struck out three, all with his wipeout slider, in 2.0 innings of shutout ball.
The Padres have won five straight games and are now 6-1 in Cactus League play. They host the Giants on Sunday at 12:10 San Diego time with lefty Joey Lucchesi getting his second start of the Spring.