Marco Paddy's first imprint on the White Sox was Nestor Molina, the prospect acquired by general manager Ken Williams in the Sergio Santos trade.
His latest is right-handed Venezuelan pitching prospect Luis Martinez, who turns 17 on Jan. 29. Martinez signed for $250,000, which makes him a significant international Sox signing.
A 6-4, 195-pounder with a 90-mph fastball to go with an upper-70s curveball and changeup, Martinez projects to fill out and add pop to his heater. He's the first major signing by Paddy, who recommended Molina -- considered one of the top three Sox prospects by at least one prospects evaluator -- after getting hired away from the Toronto Blue Jays to run the Sox Latin American scouting operation after the 2011 season.
The Sox Latin American scouting has lagged behind since former director of player personnel Dave Wilder and two scouts were involved in a kickback scheme targeting players from impoverished parts of Latin America. According to Baseball America, the Sox ranked near the bottom among teams signing international amateurs the last two years. In 2010 they spent $345,000. Before they signed Martinez in December, they were slightly above that mark in 2011.