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It was certainly interesting that the San Diego Padres added Jorge Ona to the 40-man roster protecting him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Ona, by resume, was certainly someone who should have been protected, but there are question marks behind Ona the player.
What’s interesting about protecting Ona was that the Padres had a similar decision with Franmil Reyes in 2017.
Reyes was eligible for the Rule 5 Draft that year but had a wrist injury that ended his season early.
The Padres gambled that no one would draft the big-hitting outfielder who had reached Double-A.
The gamble paid off.
In 2018, Reyes was fully healed and went on a tear at Triple-A El Paso and was promoted to the big leagues.
Once there full-time, Reyes hit 16 home runs in 87 games to go with a .280 average.
He continued to rake in 2019 for the Padres until he was traded mid-season in a three-way deal with the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds that netted prospect Taylor Trammell.
Ona, an outfield from Havana, Cuba, was signed by the Padres on July 20, 2016 for $7 million as part of a heralded international signing class that also included Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon.
He’s been beset by injuries so far as a Padre farmhand, having never played more than 107 games in a season.
Ona had been a fixture in the Padres Top 30 prospect list until most recently when he fell off the grid.
Last season, however, Ona was on the verge of a breakthrough when he was promoted to Double-A Amarillo and hit .348 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI in 25 games. He also had an OBP of .417 and OPS of .957.
But his season was cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery.