The Padres spent over $80 million in the 2016-17 international signing class, a move resulting in the deepest stable of talent in MLB below Double-A. The club’s largest investment was $22 million on the Cuban teenage lefty Morejon, now throwing in the High A Carolina League at 19 years old.
Morejon relied heavily on his fastball, a 93-to-95 mph four-seamer with hard tailing life. He hides the ball via some shoulder tilt, causing his fastball to get on hitters quickly. His in-zone command was spotty; when Morejon hit spots, I saw a future 70-grade pitch with continued development. He mixes a two-seam variant at 89-to-92 mph with late run that gets the ball off the barrel. Morejon’s best secondary is a 1-to-7 shaped curveball at 77-to-80 mph that he already shows ability to locate in the zone to both sides of the plate. He lost feel for the breaking ball at times, but it isn’t hard to see a future plus pitch in the curve. His third pitch is a 81-to-84 mph change-up that projects to above-average. Morejon uses three pitches confidently for a teenager, with enthusing feel to get velocity separation on his changeup and delivery it with fastball armspeed.
A recurrent theme in this assessment of Morejon’s repertoire is projected development. It’s not physical, although there’s a little more in there. Instead, his quiet, smooth delivery with clean arm action projects well for health and workload. It’s an athletic delivery that Morejon repeats, allowing foreseeable development in the command and control department. His present pitchability and mound presence are mature well beyond his years. Add it all up and you have a top prospect who projects to be a mainstay in any rotation. The ceiling is that of a #2 or #3 starter at the big league level.