There’s already been a ton of news today regarding Cuban ballplayers, and there could be more to come in the weeks ahead. Former Serie Nacional star Yadiel Hernandez will hold a showcase for MLB clubs on February 23rd in Mexico City, MLBTR has learned. He defected this summer when he came to North Carolina with the Cuban national team, and Ben Badler of Baseball America noted earlier today (Twitter link) that Hernandez is one of the best position players available in a deep current pool of talent from the island nation. The 28-year-old has had his way with Cuban pitching at times — including a ridiculous .369/.509/.535 batting line that included 77 walks in 369 plate appearances last year — although Badler has explained previously that Hernandez is undersized and doesn’t possess loud tools. Nonetheless, every indication is that he could well be a viable big league player, so there’s sure to be ample interest.
Here are a few more stray notes from around the game:
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak addressed the Astros’ computer hacking scandal for the first time, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story. Mozeliak seemingly expressed a cautious optimism that no other members of the organization would join former scouting director Chris Correa in being implicated in the improper database accessing. “I hope there isn’t,” he said. “I think before we totally engage in answering everything we need these proceedings to be concluded.” The Cards’ top baseball decisionmaker also added that he first became aware of the extend of what information Correa had accessed when he read the complaint recently. Otherwise, though, he did not get into the factual topics, indicating that the organization would wait to do that until Correa is sentenced in April.
- The Phillies announced several front office moves today, including the team’s previously-reported hiring of Ned Rice as assistant GM. Philadelphia also announced that Pat Gillick will return to a senior advisory role, while Benny Looper will shift into such a position after previously serving as an AGM. On the analytics side, Scott Freedman has been bumped up to director of baseball operations (from his former title of manager of baseball analytics) while the club made a full-time analyst position for Lewis Pollis, who penned a widely-read senior thesis on the market for front office talent.
- The Indians have parted ways with former director of Latin American operations Ramon Pena, as Badler reports. Both Pena and president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti indicated that the split was mutual and was the result of divergent visions for the team’s efforts in Latin America.
Judging by his numbers, looks like he is nothing more than a 28 year old singles hitter who doesn’t steal bases. If he is one of the best players remaining in Cuba, I think its safe to say the well has gone dry for now.
Just Another Fan
Did you miss the part about the .535 SLG he had last year? He’s a doubles hitter, which often can turn into home run power with slight tweaks/experience.
Like I said below, he looks like Cuba’s version of Nick Markakis, who has been a solid regular for the better part of the last decade now.
Just Another Fan
Looks like the Nick Markakis of Cuba to me.
Judging by his videos. He’s a minor league player at best. Slow on the bases and not a solid glove on the field.
Just Another Fan
I’m not sure there’s ever been a player who’s primary skill is getting on base that hasn’t made the majors. That’s like, the one skill that teams value over all….because at the very root of the game, that’s what it’s all about.
Agree he seems his fielding reaction is off a beat and his timing at the plate is wonky. He seems to need a lot of work to fix his timing and mechanics in the general area of basic reaction to what he is seeing both at the plate and in the field. Doesn’t take the best approach or routes to the ball . But he can become a Gyrko style player and possibly with a lot of work an everyday starter with better power numbers. You pitch him inside and his route in his swing just is different. Cuba is not going to miss this guy. But can be an everyday grinder with a lot of instructional and winter league teaching and repetition. Right now a utility type of guy at best.
Does anybody who is not a Cardinals fan actually believe Mozeliak?
Absolutely No!!! Mozeliak is getting worse each year. And even Cardinal fans are frustrated by his lack of leadership as GM. He is Noted for hiring Low Hanging Fruit. He insures that the Cardinals are always second or below on free agents. That way he can say he “Tried” to spend big money on an all-star impact player. Some how, year after year, his pattern has been the same. As in 2015, the Cardinals were on their way to a 100 win season, with the unprecedented injury bug and exhaustion hit his star players. Did he go after an impact controllable player??? No! He went after recycled players that made little or no effect at the end of the season. This move absolutely neutralized the Cardinals in the playoffs-offs. The pitching was great last season. Hitting was poor, lack of driving run raised question marks. Scoring 3 or less runs a game meant it was all on the pitchers. If he couldn’t see these red flags he’s in denial. He never gives a straight answer. Talks in circles! It appears he’s projects a lack of trust from the other GM’s. He has given away talented players to obtain players
Stop hating on Mo he’s done a fine job he’s youth is as close as the Pirates only behind The Twins ,Cubs
I know individuals involved with the Cardinals organization who feel the same as I do. He does have an alienation factor against him in the league. That’s not good.
Why did I and Castro up the middle will be good