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San Diego Padres sign top Cuban prospect Jorge Ona

By The Sports Xchange
San Diego Padres sign top Cuban prospect Jorge Ona

The San Diego Padres agreed to terms with top Cuban prospect Jorge Ona on a minor league contract with a $7 million signing bonus.

The contract with the 19-year-old outfielder is pending a physical, general manager A.J. Preller said Friday.

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The contract starts in 2017 for Ona, who was ranked the No. 8 international prospect in the 2016 class by MLB.com. In February, Baseball America rated him the fourth-best Cuban player on the market.

Ona receives $4.9 million within 30 days of the deal's approval by the commissioner's office and $2.1 million on Jan. 15.

In 2014 , Ona hit .319 for Cuba's 18U National League, prior to playing in the 2014 COPABE 18U Pan American Championship in Mexico, where he hit .636 (14-for-22) with four home runs over eight games in the tournament

Preller hopes Ona will play in the fall instructional league and then report for spring training and start his pro career next season.

"It's a very strong body," Preller said of the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Ona. "Compact swing with strength, really good bat path, he's got bat-to-ball skills. He's more Albert Belle, body-wise, than Vlad Guerrero. He's got 'now strength,' hits the ball very hard, hits the ball hard in games, and he has strike-zone discipline. There's a lot of good components he brings to the table."

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