If you’ve been watching the free agent market at all this offseason, surely the name from Cuba that you have heard is Yoan Moncada. The recently defected shortstop is the going to be the next in a long line of players to sign from the country. Another name to watch however is Yadier Alvarez, and it’s a good thing the Twins are interested.
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Yadier Alvarez is an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher that has recently defected from Cuba, and the Twins appear to have their eye on him. To what extent they are interested is not known, but Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN sees them as fans of the young hurler.
Having not yet pitched at a high level in Cuba due to his age, he Alvarez burst onto the scene in a recent showcase. Honing a mid to high 90’s fastball, along with a strong slider and changeup, it appears that the 18-year-old has all the makings of a good major league starter.
Alvarez is 6′ 3″ and 175 lbs, meaning that he has already developed a solid frame for an 18-year-old body. As he continues to grow and add strength, his ceiling will only continue to rise. Recently, Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs looked into what Yadier Alvarez might command from the market in saying:
"Again, as I’ve already said, it’s super early to peg what Alvarez’s talent and his market are, but he’s clearly better than RHP Yoan Lopez, the 21-year-old Cuban who signed with the Diamondbacks earlier this year for an $8.25 million bonus. This means Alvarez should go for $10 million or more, with his further workouts dictating what the ceiling may be."
While he will still need to continue to workout for major league teams, the hype train is only going to continue to build for the exciting pitching prospect. For Twins fans, it’s probably hard to believe they would be in on a bidding war with teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, but Alvarez would definitely be a nice get.
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