More and more Cuban talent is becoming available. A story yesterday on MLBTradeRumors.com linked the Phillies with 18-year old power pitcher Yadier Alvarez. Fangraph’s Kiley McDaniels has labeled him the “hottest name in baseball”.
In a recent workout in the Dominican Republic, Alvarez showed a 93- 97- fastball. See Here. This is the kind of young power arm the Phillies need. With that kind of velocity he would be in position to be the No. 1 the Phillies in the future if and when they move Cole Hamels. As a teenager Alvarez is at the right age for the completion of the rebuild that the Phillies are aiming for by the 2017 0r 2018 seasons.
Watching the video Alvarez reminds me physically of the 19-year old highly regarded Phillies prospect, Franklyn Kilome. See Here and Here. Farm Director Joe Jordan described Kilome on MLBnetwork Radio’s Power Alley yesterday as “arguably” having the most upside of any young Phillies arm.
Alvarez has quickly become one of the most talked-about prospects on the international market and the buzz among scouts, per Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (on Twitter), is that the Phillies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks are expected to heavily pursue the 18-year-old.
The Phillies have not been linked with two other Cubans, second baseman Hector Olivera or infielder Yoan Moncada. Moncada would be costly since he is regarded as one of the top ten prospects anywhere in baseball and the team that signs him will likely have to pay a penalties by exceeding international pool limits to sign him. Jim Callis of MLB.com rates him as one of the top dozen players if he were eligible for the Draft.
Yadier Alvarez will be one name to watch to see if the Phillies are in play for his services when he becomes available as an international free agent. Alvarez could join Franklyn Kilome as key parts of the Phillies starting rotations of the future.