When you’re young, left-handed, and can throw a ball 100 mph., you’re going to get the attention of major league scouts. And, because he escaped the attention of those assigned to guard him, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, is starting to make the rounds.
He’s talking with the Mets today.
Edwin Mejia, Chapman’s agent, says his client has a two and four-seam fastball, curve, slider, change and forkball. That’s a hefty scouting report, but until we get the same report from major league scouts take it with a grain of salt.
It has also been reported Chapman will get a contract up to $50 million, which is a lot for somebody who hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues. Let’s also not forget he has left behind a wife and daughter, parents and sisters. Who is to say he won’t be distracted by being away from them. Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras had separation pangs.
It’s reported he’s 21, but there’s no real assurances yet, of that. Latin players are notorious for lying about their age. Hey, Hernandez still is.
While there’s no disputing there’s a wealth of talent in Cuba, remember it is not major league talent. We do not know what Chapman is capable of against major league hitters. We also don’t know how he’ll deal with the pressures and anxieties of living away from home.
If he’s the real deal, the Mets should be interested. But there are a lot of variables, so buyer beware.