Brothers Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. are set to host a showcase for big league clubs next Friday (Oct. 5) at Marlins Park, reports MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter). Sanchez adds that right-hander Sandy Gaston will throw for clubs at the showcase as well. All three players are from Cuba, and all have been declared free agents by Major League Baseball.
At this point, it’s widely known that Victor Victor Mesa, the older of the two brothers, is considered to be the top available talent on the international market. He hit .354/.399/.539 with seven homers and 40 steals in just 70 games (290 plate appearances) in his last full season in the Cuban National Series (2016-17). The 22-year-old has drawn significant praise in scouting reports from Baseball America’s Ben Badler, being touted as an elite runner, potential plus defender in center field and a possible top-of-the-order bat.
The switch-hitting Mesa Jr. is considerably further from the Majors at 16 years of age, though he’s previously appeared for Cuba’s 18U National team despite an absence of professional experience to date. Like his older brother, he’s an outfielder that is free to sign with any club, though he didn’t land on MLB.com’s ranking of the top 30 international prospects, nor did he appear on Baseball America’s Top 50 (subscription required). Victor Victor topped both lists.
As for Gaston, he checked in 16th on MLB.com’s list and 24th on Badler’s list at BA. Gaston’s most appealing asset is the eye-popping velocity he’s already shown at a young age — he’s already touched 100 mph, per Badler — though that heat comes with red flags. He’s yet to show that he has any real ability to control his fastball, with Badler’s scouting report noting that he walked 46 hitters in 47 innings in his final season with Cuba’s 18U team. Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel scouted Gaston at the MLB International Showcase in February, tweeting that he hit 97 mph and flashed a pair of potentially average secondary offerings. However, he also hit a batter and threw four pitches to the backstop in that appearance.
All three players are subject to international bonus pools, as none meet the age (25) or professional experience (six years) requirements established in the latest collective bargaining agreement. (More on international signing rules here.)
Sanchez has previously listed the Orioles ($6.5MM), Marlins ($4.3MM), Rays ($3.6MM) and Dodgers ($2.78MM) as the teams with the top available bonus pools at present. Both Baltimore and Miami have been linked to Victor Victor Mesa on numerous occasions, and Miami was at one point believed to be a top potential landing spot for Gaston as well. The fact that the brothers Mesa are holding their showcase at Marlins Park doesn’t figure to do anything to quell the rumors connecting the two sides, though it hardly suggests that the Miami organization is the favorite to sign him, either. And it should be noted that other teams can still swing trades to pad their bonus pools, which could quickly alter the landscape of the market to land the elder Mesa sibling.