Thursday, June 16, 2016

Welcome to the Blue, Yordan Alvarez!

Just before facing a two-year ban on signing international amateurs above a $300k bonus, the Dodgers decided to plunk down a couple million dollars to nab 18-year old Cuban outfielder Yordan Alvarez.  Yesterday was the very last day of the 2015-2016 international signing period.  Per Ben Badler at Baseball America:
The Dodgers signed Yordan Alvarez, an 18-year-old who played first base in Cuba but has also showcased in left field. The deal, first reported by, is for $2 million, which means the Dodgers will pay $4 million total since they have to pay a 100 percent overage tax for exceeding their bonus pool.

Since Alvarez didn’t play much in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, my looks at him while he was in Cuba were limited to just a handful of at-bats. Alvarez had a long, lean build in Cuba, but those who have seen him more recently said he has gotten stronger and filled out to 6-foot-5, 220 pounds.

He has a simple lefthanded swing, drawing praise from scouts highest on him for his bat control and ability to manage the strike zone well for his age. While Alvarez never showed much power in Cuba, he has since earned average to above-average raw power grades from scouts who have followed him at workouts. Some evaluators said he sometimes struggles to tap into that power in games in part because he doesn’t always generate enough lift in his stroke (58 percent of his batted balls were groundballs during his final season in Cuba).
Below are more links you can check out:
In celebration of Yordan signing with the Dodgers I made the above fantasy Baseball card of him.  I used a photo grabbed from El Nuevo Herald and the 1985 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats in Cuba, via Baseball Reference:

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