by Stephen Sheridan, Managing Editor
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: several big market clubs could soon be involved in a high-stakes bidding war for a young, Cuban phenom. Only this time, instead of a tantalizing fireballer (see Aroldis Chapman), we’re talking about a 19-year-old shortstop with, apparently, unlimited potential. This afternoon, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com is reporting that, “The Angels were among a half-dozen teams to send scouts to the Dominican Republic last week to watch Adeiny Hechevarria work out, according to a league source.” Saxon also said that the bidding could reach up to eight figures.
Earlier today, MLBFP compared two other Cuban SS’s, Yadil Mujica and Jose Iglesias, who were ranked ninth and eleventh, respectively, by Cubano for Cuban Ball Players. Hechevarria, by comparison, is ranked seventh. The following is Cubano’s scouting report on the young shortstop:
In my opinion, Adeiny Hechavarria was the best shortstop prospect in Cuba before he left. Certainly, I was not alone…Cuban coaches thought along these lines when Adeiny was named the starting short stop for the Cuban Junior Team in the 2007 World Junior Championship in Canada. Jose Iglesias had to play second base for that team.
He covers a lot of ground, has amazing quickness, great hands and his footwork is excellent. Iglesias had a higher batting average in Cuba, but Hechevarria hit for more power and had a higher fielding average.
Hechevarria likes to hit behind the runners. During last season, he hit 50 times toward right field. He also hit 38 times to left field and 32 to center field.
Adeiny should land a more lucrative contract than Jose Iglesias, who signed a $8.2 million contract with Boston.
Major League teams are bidding on this kid based on pure projection, as his offensive numbers are not impressive. Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that he was only a teenager during his first three professional seasons in Cuba. Hechevarria is a player to stash away in deep dynasty and keeper leagues, but he will not have an impact in 2010. In fact, it could be a while before he’s ready to contribute for your fantasy team. Jorge Arangure today tweetedthat Adeiny has not yet been unblocked, so it could be weeks or months before he signs anywhere. When he makes it to the majors, it will most likely be more for his defense than his bat, initially.