23-year-old Cuban OF Yasmani Tomas has defected and will pursue an MLB contract, according to reporter Ben Badler (Baseball America, June 20).
Tomas is a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder and one of the top young power hitters in Cuba.
“He can hit towering home runs thanks to the strength from his thickly-built 6-foot-1, 230-pound frame,” Badler writes. “He has some experience in center field and is a decent runner for his size, but his speed is still below-average and he’s going to be a corner outfielder in pro ball.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I was SO wrong about Jose Abreu it’s laughable. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone, since pretty much every National League team was leery of signing him, because he profiled to be an obvious DH… and still does.
In this case, though, with Tomas, I want the Mets to make a move.
This guy can play the outfield. Badler says he hits ‘towering home runs,’ and, frankly, that’s good enough for me. At this point, given the state of the Mets offense and lack of immediate help in the farm system, even if this guy is a total bust, it would probably be worth the bet.
The White Sox gave six years and $68 million to Abreu. The Mets made a $60 million commitment to Curtis Granderson. Abreu has already hit more home runs this season (20) than Granderson may hit all year. I know it’s an unfair comparison, since Abreu plays in a hitter’s park, and the Mets needed an outfielder more than a first baseman – let alone a DH. However, the Mets still need an outfielder, and they still need power. And if Tomas can be that guy, which it sounds like he can, when the bidding starts this winter, the Mets should step up like the home-run hungry New York team they are and go for it.