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Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)

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Offline  Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
#1

Posted: February 12, 2015, 6:10 PM Post
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The Moncada signing is going to come and go over the next couple of weeks, but there are still many other notable Cuban players currently being scouted by MLB teams. I think it's worth starting a thread to highlight some of these other talented Cuban players and evaluate which players may make sense for the Brewers to consider.

There have been a handful of other (non-Moncada) Cuban ballplayers making headlines recently. Let's start with some information regarding the Free Agent from Cuba expected to have the most immediate impact at the MLB level, 29 year old Hector Olivera.

Hector Olivera (IF/2B)
Year           G   PA   AB   R   H  2B 3B HR RBI SB CS  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
2003 132 119 32 38 6 3 1 11 5 0 7 20 .319 .367 .445 .813
2004 298 282 47 92 10 4 6 35 7 7 12 32 .326 .362 .454 .816
2005 77 296 252 42 66 8 4 3 35 5 6 35 24 .262 .351 .361 .712
2006 89 409 359 72 113 15 1 6 32 7 4 28 26 .315 .370 .412 .782
2007 84 394 323 91 114 25 3 10 45 21 1 55 28 .353 .467 .542 1.009
2008 84 398 332 84 115 23 5 16 71 8 3 55 24 .346 .444 .590 1.035
2009 89 411 345 76 111 34 4 14 54 0 1 56 29 .322 .415 .565 .980
2010 86 394 346 83 110 25 1 16 70 2 0 37 21 .318 .390 .535 .924
2011 60 264 214 48 73 10 0 17 42 0 1 44 22 .341 .462 .626 1.088
2013 73 273 228 44 72 11 2 7 38 0 0 38 25 .316 .412 .474 .885

10 Seasons 642 3269 2800 619 904 167 27 96 433 55 23 367 251 .323 .407 .505 .912

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/12/2015.

From MLB Trade Rumors:

Cuban infielder Hector Olivera actually seems a somewhat under-hyped story this spring. Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that Olivera has scouts “excited about [his] potential to make an immediate impact on a major league team in 2015.” While still not technically a free agent, Olivera is expected to be declared one shortly. When he does, his market will get very interesting. Badler writes that teams expect Olivera to seek money in the ballpark of that given by the Red Sox to Rusney Castillo ($12MM annually over six years), in AAV if not also years. That is no guarantee he will be paid that way, of course, and Olivera has some health questions. But if those concerns are resolved, Badler says he prefers the veteran to both Castillo and Yasmany Tomas, noting that some teams view him as an above-average big leaguer from the get-go.

Here is some video courtesy of Fangraphs Kiley McDaniel of Olivera taking an impressive BP session (and ending with a live at-bat).



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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 12, 2015, 6:30 PM Post
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A heralded young Cuban player, 18 year old Yadier Alvarez has reportedly created a lot of buzz among scouts with his workout yesterday.

Yadier Alvarez (RHP)

From Jon Heyman:

RHP Yadier Alvarez: Alvarez, an 18-year-old Cuban who has not yet been cleared to sign, threw "lights out" for scouts in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, hitting 93-97 mph. Several teams were in attendance, including the Dodgers.

Again, video courtesy of Fangraphs Kiley McDaniel:



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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 12, 2015, 7:44 PM Post
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Another guy who we haven't heard much about is 1B/3B Yosvani Bell, who's scheduled to do a showcase later this month. Apparently his trainer is Robinson Cano's dad.

He's certainly got a hitter's build. [laughing] Question that would make the Brewers extremely interested is whether he can actually play 3B.



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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 12, 2015, 9:30 PM Post
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Another Cuban infielder who profiles as a 2B, and might be a stretch for 3B is 21 year old Andy Ibanez. Ibanez defected from Cuba back in the Fall and is expected to sign with an organization for the 2015 season (likely to start at high-A or AA).

Andy Ibanez (2B)

From NBC Sports:

Ibanez was the youngest player on Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster last year and Badler rates him as the No. 8 prospect still in Cuba. However, he’s unlikely to get a huge contract because as a 21-year-old with only three seasons of experience in Cuba he’s subject to the international spending limits that Cuban veterans are able to avoid.

Badler speculates that he’d likely begin his American career at Double-A and projects as a solid regular rather than a potential star.

And here is a small portion of Baseball America's player profile on Ibanez:

...Ibanez was one of Cuba's top young players, though he hadn't yet had a breakout season in Serie Nacional...Ibanez doesn't have one electric tool or star upside, but he's a smart, fundamentally sound player who's steady across the board...He's not a burner on the basepaths, but his athleticism and agility are evident in the field at second base, where he won Cuba's equivalent to a gold glove during his rookie season...He's played occasionally at third base, but his arm is a better fit at second.


Image


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 13, 2015, 7:41 AM Post
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sk-NVgXLmfE#t=12

This was one of the videos immediately present to click after viewing the practice ABs. Not sure about his athleticism and arm from 3b. can see several throw off line. Super thick build and slow moving, I'd venture Prince Fielder has more quickness then him.

Didn't like his approach at the plate either. I'd pass.

The 2b Olivera. Not a fan of the vid. He really looks like a man who has talent, but since its practice takes a 30% effort towards doing so and the other 70% barely goes through the motions. It's quite incredible he has 16 HR seasons in essentially 84games. One would be able to project 27-31HRs then. Guy also reminds me of Rickie Weeks w/o the hair. I'd probably give him the best of Weeks as his playing numbers...Just is 12mil per worth that while aging.

Now the prize of these posts.

Yadier Alvarez.

Very good motion to the plate, doesn't look like he's putting in a lot of effort for the results. Can see the movement with the slider. Works low in the zone. It's a shame a team like the Dodgers will have tabs on this kid, as it just shows how money wins and small markets watch. The Dodgers will have more Aces in their rotation in 3years than I likely see in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform full season in my lifetime. Between Kershaw/Grienke/Urias/and this kid.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
#6

Posted: February 13, 2015, 11:17 AM Post
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I really do hope that if the Brewers fail to sign Moncada, they go all in on Alvarez.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 13, 2015, 5:06 PM Post
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Even as a non-scout, Alvarez looks really good on the mound.

Maybe we can sell that Bud Selig hologram technology to the military and sign both Alvarez and Moncada. [laughing]


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 13, 2015, 8:06 PM Post
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What a great thread! Good idea, EBaN

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 14, 2015, 9:30 AM Post
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Thanks TLB!

Yesterday Kiley McDaniel came out with another thorough update on the Cuban prospects mentioned above...
Yadier Alvarez Emerges While Other Cubans Move Closer to Deals.

And the FanGraphs podcast discussing the recent showcase in the Dominican that included 18 Cuban players can be found here...
FanGraphs Audio: Kiley McDaniel on His Dominican Sojourn


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 16, 2015, 10:17 PM Post
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Per MLB Trade Rumors Updates on the Top Cuban Free Agents the Brewers are currently in the mix for three of the four top Cuban players:

Yoan Moncada
Moncada has yet to receive a formal offer, Sanchez writes, but he’s worked out privately for the Cubs, D-backs, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays, Tigers and Brewers, and there could be other private workouts to come. Some scouts are a bit skeptical of Moncada’s ability to hit from the right side of the plate, but the belief is that he won’t require a lengthy stint in the minors before being ready for the big leagues....

....Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports recently spoke to multiple executives regarding Moncada’s potential bonus, and while one estimated that the bonus alone could reach $50MM, others have expressed some skepticism at the numbers that have been thrown around. Rosenthal spoke to execs that are clearly on both ends of the Moncada spectrum, as one estimated a $30MM maximum bonus, with something in the range of $20MM being more likely. Of course, that would still shatter the current record, held by Yoan Lopez ($8.25MM).

Yadier Alvarez
One high-ranking NL official told Sanchez that Alvarez was the best 18-year-old pitcher he’s ever seen following a showcase in which he touched 98 mph on the radar gun and also showed a plus slider and above-average changeup. Scouts to whom Sanchez has spoke believe he could eventually become a No. 2 starter. One international scouting director also told Sanchez that given Alvarez’s age and lower asking price, he prefers the right-hander to Moncada.

The Dodgers, D-Backs, Rockies, Nationals, Blue Jays, Padres, A’s, Cardinals, Twins and Brewers are all interested, per Sanchez, with the D-Backs and Nationals as the likeliest destinations at the moment. However, Alvarez is still early on in the process, so those seem the most likely to change of any of Sanchez’s likely destinations.

Andy Ibanez
Ibanez, 21, has drawn comps to Omar Infante, Howie Kendrick, Miguel Cairo and Placido Polanco from scouts, Sanchez writes, although he’s probably a couple of years away from contributing in the Majors. As other reports have indicated, Ibanez’s tools don’t blow scouts away, but he does have Major League potential. Sanchez lists the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, D-Backs, Brewers, Mariners, and Padres as interested parties, with the Yankees, Dodgers and Padres as the likeliest landing spots.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 18, 2015, 1:53 PM Post
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"Yadier Alvarez
One high-ranking NL official told Sanchez that Alvarez was the best 18-year-old pitcher he’s ever seen following a showcase in which he touched 98 mph on the radar gun and also showed a plus slider and above-average changeup. Scouts to whom Sanchez has spoke believe he could eventually become a No. 2 starter. One international scouting director also told Sanchez that given Alvarez’s age and lower asking price, he prefers the right-hander to Moncada.

The Dodgers, D-Backs, Rockies, Nationals, Blue Jays, Padres, A’s, Cardinals, Twins and Brewers are all interested, per Sanchez, with the D-Backs and Nationals as the likeliest destinations at the moment. However, Alvarez is still early on in the process, so those seem the most likely to change of any of Sanchez’s likely destinations."


I would do a backflip, If I could, if the Brewers signed Alvarez. It would be the feeling of excitement two fold, like the moment in the 2014 draft the Brewers selected Jacob Gatewood. The Greg Vaughn went rogue, and made his own choice comment may be the best line I've ever read here and signing Alvarez after seeing that video would exceed that excitement level. Man, the Brewers being attached to this kid and the potential of him signing with Milw being real(unlike Moncada) is just prayer worthy.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 18, 2015, 2:08 PM Post
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I wonder if the Brewers will punt on Moncada and go all in on Alvarez. I think they're still gonna provide an offer to Moncada, but perhaps they won't break their backs trying to outbid teams like the Dodgers and instead try hard for Alvarez, who's expected to be cheaper than Moncada.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
#13

Posted: February 18, 2015, 7:18 PM Post
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Well just thinking based on International money for 2015 if it went there, the DBacks will have more money than the Brewers...The Nationals, won't. And if these are the two leading the way for the signing, I believe Milwaukee can compete with that.


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 19, 2015, 5:22 PM Post
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I am still praying at my Yoan Moncada altar, but from an idealized armchair-GM prospect Alvarez sort of makes more sense because he adds another pitching prospect to a hitter-heavy draft class currently in the low minors.

By 2019 you could be looking at an ideal roster of:

C - [Free Agent]
1B - R. Braun
2B - L. Sardinas
SS - O. Arcia
3B - J. Gatewood
LF - T. Taylor
CF - M. Harrison
RF - C. Coulter

IF - Y. Rivera
IF - S. Gennett (maybe a trade/non-tender)
OF - K. Davis (maybe a trade/non-tender)
OF - V. Roache

SP - Y. Alvarez
SP - K. Medeiros
SP - M. Diplan
SP - D. Williams
SP - J. Nelson/M. Fiers/T. Jungmann/J. Lopez

LHP - W. Wang
RHP - T. Thornburg
LHP - W. Smith
RHP - J. Jeffress
CL - C. Knebel

Top prospect: G. Lara, though if he's really good he will have forced his way to the majors by age 21, maybe at 2B?


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Offline  Re: Cuban Prospects (Not Named Moncada)
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Posted: February 19, 2015, 10:10 PM Post
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2019 is so far away. The entire roster of that projection could be about overhauled by the end of July. Milw could trade for somebody with 3 or 4 of those prospects to try to win in 2015. I do like the team acquired Diplan an international SP signee from 2013 and can see the room/great idea to acquire Alvarez and end up with Medeiros/Diplan/Alvarez all growing up in the minors at the same time together, hopefully being winners to create that atmosphere and future expectations. The team should honestly strongly pursue Alvarez even if it costs 2 years of 300k+signings. That future rotation could be amazing. I see no Peralta projections, and hopefully he nets the team 1 strong 25man player come 2019 that you're not even considering. Davis too.

I just think it's perfect Alvarez at 18 already so he's advanced enough to not be sat around like Lara for the season once signed. And the young man could speed through the system ahead of Diplan/Medeiros because of his age and ability already. Could bridge the gap for the team in 2017 a lot quicker than expected if he would be ready to start. This opportunity doesn't happen often, and with the new rules likely less now. Jump on it while you can.


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