While the baseball world waits to see who will win the bidding war for Cuban baseball prospect, Yoan Moncado (please, oh please, oh please), the other current big Cuban prospect, Hector Olivera, has been impressing scouts with his recent workouts and showcase games.
Olivera recently put on a show for scouts at his second open showcase last week, showing off his athleticism and baseball mechanics. Oh, and he hit two home runs and a double as well. His 60-yard dash time has also improved to 6.65 seconds, shaving time off his previous recorded time of 6.8.
Scouts from several teams, including the Giants and Braves, along with the San Diego Padres, were on hand to watch Olivera crush the competition. Though it does sound like the largest collection of evaluators were the rival, Los Angeles Dodgers. Specifically former Padres GM, Josh Byrnes, now VP of Baseball Operations in LA. This isn’t a surprise to me, the Dodgers won big landing Yasiel Puig, a couple of years ago, so I’m sure they will always be looking to repeat that formula of success and try to sign the newest hyped-about international player.
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Like most of the people out there, I want Moncado, and I wand him bad. I’ve pretty much drunken all the Kool-Aid and have bought into all the hype about that kid. That said, if we miss out on him to one of his other suitors (Yankees, RedSox, Dodgers) I’d be happy with the Padres signing Olivera. I’m not crazy that he is already at the tail end of his 20’s, and that he previously missed the 2012-2013 season with some kind of blood disorder. When you look at his numbers, .312/.412/474 last year, I think he’s definitely someone worth taking a shot on. Also, when you take into account the money a team would have to shell out to sign Moncado, Olivera probably won’t come with such a high asking price or like the one Yasmany Tomas did earlier this year. Getting a James Shields kind-of situation vibe here.
Our GM, AJ Preller, is well regarded as an excellent evaluator of international talent. It was one of the big reasons the Padres ownership hired him in the first place. So if he thinks Olivera is worth it, then I trust his opinion.
What do you guys think, would you be fine with Olivera if the Padres miss out on Moncado? Do you think Olivera is even worth the Padres interest?
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