Photo from fOTOGLIF
The story has been out there for weeks but the Toronto Blue Jays finally made their signing of Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria official. The 21-year old received a four-year, $10-million major-league deal. He expects to be playing in the majors very soon. So soon in fact that he chose the Blue Jays over the Yankees based on the contract extension Derek Jeter is expected to get, while Alex Gonzalez has just a one-year deal.
Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun describes all the events that led to the signing by the Blue Jays. This is a great article that will give you a true sense of the talent level of the player and what the team was thinking when they signed him.
“Scouting is about comparison,” Anthopoulos said. “I wanted Dana there because he’d been scouting director (Washington Nationals) for eight years. Andrew knew shortstops eligible for the draft.”
Beeston’s question was “where would Hechavarria go in the draft — if eligible.”
“Marco felt really strongly about Hechavarria, we thought we could set the competition at our complex,” Anthopoulos said.
Antopoulos’ first impression seeing the 5-foot-11 178-pounder?
“His body, he’s wiry, strong, not an ounce of body fat,” Anthopoulos said. “Watching him walk was impressive. When you look at young shortstops you wonder if they are going to get thicker in the lower half which might cause them to lose a step defensively”
Anthopoulos said the prospect was not as thick as Alfonso Soriano, but had a similar build to Julio Lugo, Edgar Rentaria and B.J. Upton, who is taller.
What the Jays entourage saw was an athletic fielder with quick twitch muscles.
Hechavarria runs a 60-yard dash.
“He was 6.4 or 6-5, but he’d been 6.3 before,” Hernandez said.
The right-handed hitter took batting practice with an inside-out swing, hitting the ball the other way.
Anthopoulos said they did not see him swing and miss a pitch.
Hechavarria faced some of harder throwers from the Jays rookie-class Dominican summer league and free-agent international pitchers.
In a simulated game Hechavarria led off every inning. If he got an extra-base, hit or made an out he returned to first and attempted to steal.
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