According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, the Mets will send scouts to a showcase for Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena this weekend. The showcase will take place this Friday and Saturday in the Dominican Republic.
Arruebarruena, a 23 year old plus defender with an iffy bat, recently defected. Writes Martino:
The 23-year-old Arruebarruena, who has drawn comparisons to Detroit’s Jose Iglesias, was the starting shortstop for Cuba’s World Baseball Classic team this year. Baseball America’s Ben Badler was first to report his defection last month, and intention to play in the United States. The publication ranked Arruebarruena as the no. 10 prospect in the tournament not signed to a major league team.
Ben Badler of Baseball America noted that some scouts view Arruebarruena as a “magician” in the field, but says that his bat is not major league ready. Writes Badler:
Based on his current offensive ability, Arruebarruena would almost certainly have to start in the minor leagues, with Double-A a possibility given his current talent level and age.
Having seen Jose Iglesias play, the thought of a shortstop who plays a similar brand of defense is tantalizing. As Badler points out though, there are major questions about whether Arruebarruena’s bat will allow him to be a starting player in the majors.
The Mets should certainly do their due diligence here, and if they feel Arruebarruena has enough offensive potential to be even average with the bat, they should pounce.