Could The Toronto Blue Jays Look To Cuba To Fill Catching Void?

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
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Yenier Bello

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.

ESTADISTICAS BATEO
S Tm G AB R H AVE 2B 3B HR TB OBP SLU OPS SB CS RBI HBP BB IBB SO GDP
49SN SSP 73 246 27 64 .260 8 0 11 105 .315 .427 .742 1 0 34 7 15 4 25 14
50SN SSP 92 341 57 109 .320 13 1 21 187 .385 .548 .933 0 2 70 15 24 9 38 9
51SN SSP 101 397 45 111 .280 15 0 15 171 .321 .431 .752 0 1 62 5 21 3 34 20
9 SSP 528 1803 224 498 .276 68 7 82 826 .324 .458 .782 1 4 315 44 96 25 196 75
ESTADISTICAS DEFENSA
S Tm G INN PO A E TL AVE DP TP PB SB CS
49SN SSP 73 183.2 123 10 1 134 .993 0 0 4 7 6
50SN SSP 92 524.2 339 35 3 377 .992 8 0 6 19 21
51SN SSP 101 423.2 246 33 4 283 .986 5 0 6 23 26
9 SSP 528 2601.1 1592 183 22 1797 .988 35 0 42 118 118

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.

5. Alex Jackson, C/RF, Rancho Bernardo HS (CA), Oregon commit

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.

14. Kyle Schwarber, C/1B, Indiana

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.

42. Jakson Reetz, C/RHP, Norris HS (NE), Nebraska commit

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.

 

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher







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