Could The Toronto Blue Jays Look To Cuba To Fill Catching Void?
The Toronto Blue Jays catching implosion has been well documented at Baseball Hot Corner however a new potential replacement has entered the fray. It was announced yesterday that Cuban catcher Yenier Bello had successfully fled Cuba and was in the process of being unblocked by the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control. Bello was suspended this season after a failed attempt to flee his native land in 2012.
The power hitting catcher could be a nice fit for the Jays who are rumoured to be kicking tires on an upgrade option for the struggling J.P. Arencibia. As you can see from the below stat line, Bello hits for a decent average with some home run power for good measure. Bello swatted 21 big flies two seasons earlier in only 92 games in Cuba.
The Jays could look to sign Bello if they think he will come at a cheaper asking price than the available catching free agents on the market.
Statistics courtesy of Cuban-Play.com
The Blue Jays also have the 9th and llth overall picks in the 2014 amateur baseball draft so don’t be surprised if the Jays look for a back-stop with one of those two selections. The minor league system does not boast any blue-chip prospects at the catching position since the departure of Travis d’Arnaud.
According to Scout.com there are a few potential prospects in the Top 50 eligible prospects for 2014.
Quick Take: Projects as a plus hitter with plus power and arm; likely moves to right field but has a chance to play behind the plate with some work.
Quick Take: Strong lefty makes the most of modest catching tools but his 70 grade raw power reminds some of Travis Hafner.
16. Max Pentecost, C, Kennessaw State
Quick Take: Athletic small school catcher took a big step forward on the Cape this summer with potential to be best true catcher from college ranks in years.
Quick Take: Top true prep catcher was great early in the summer and hasn’t stopped hitting in games but hitting mechanics and speed have backed up recently.
Only time will tell what the Jays have up their sleeve but you grantee Alex Anthopoulos will do his due diligence on Bello and ascertain if the signing is feasible this off-season.