While Moncada circus is starting to wind down with a potential deal getting done by Sunday or so a new name has jumped out, Yadier Alvarez. Alvarez wasn’t a big name before defecting from Cuba. But the 18 year old is becoming a household name with international scouting directors after a recent showcase in the Dominican Republic.
Kiley McDaniels of Fangraphs was down there and took some video. Here is a link to that video plus some updates on some other Cubans.
Kiley’s grades for his pitchers were the following if you don’t want to click on the article. Fastball present grade of a 60 with a future grade of a 65. A slider right now was a 50 pitch with a future grade of a 60. Changeup had a 50 grade present with a 55 grade future. Command was only a 40 at the present with a 50 command grade on future. Kiley is very stingy on grades of command. In a recent chat he doesn’t like to go much higher than a 50 grade because that can only be proven by consistently getting big league players out.
Now looking at the body in the video. Alvarez reminds me a lot of Severino who is the top pitching prospect in the Yankees system. I like Alvarez’s delivery better as he uses his lower half more. Of course this is video from one showcase so take this for a grain of salt. Alvarez does look like he could add some weight to bulk up which might make his fastball stand out more which is scary. In this four innings that McDaniel saw Alvarez wasn’t lower then 93 and topped out at 98.
Just like Moncada the team that signs Alvarez will pay 100% penalty for any money they go over their bonus pool. The Yankees have already been linked to him just like they were linked to Moncada early. The upside of this play is the Yankees only have to drop money and could get a potential front line starter at 18 which is something they never get the opportunity to do. McDaniel says Alvarez is similiar to Brady Aiken who just went first overall in last years draft.
The time table for Alvarez should be four to eight weeks which means he will be signing for this current cycle which is good for the Yankees. Just like with Moncada expect to see him tied to the Yankees in articles once he is unblocked and can sign.