Cuban Star Yuliesky Gourriel Defects

According to Will Carroll, Cuban third baseman Yuliesky Gourriel has defected.  I’ll try to relay what I’ve learned about Gourriel, who is likely to become quite the hot commodity in short order.

Gourriel is approximately 21 years old.  At least, that’s his reported age.  He’s a third baseman but has experience at second as well.  Last winter he flashed immense power at the baseball World Cup with eight home runs in eleven games; he also performed well in the WBC. 

Baseball America indicates that Gourriel would certainly be a first-round pick if he came up through the American system.  A scout describes him as "a championship-caliber third baseman in the big leagues."  BA likens him to Chipper Jones or Ernie Banks as far as body type and gushes over his bat speed. 

Gourriel accomplished his defection via Colombia.  That country’s Bogota Times said "it appears that his next destination would be the New York Yankees."

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