As noted yesterday by the NY Daily News, Andy Martino shares that the Mets will be present at the upcoming showcase for 23 year old Cuban defector Erisbel Arrubarruena who plays shortstop and we all know that at this point the Mets could use a good shortstop to man the left side of the infield.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler reported last month on Arruebarruena’s and shared a scouting report on the defensive wizard:
At 6 feet, 195 pounds, Arruebarruena has clean hands, quick actions and good body control. He’s a below-average runner, but his quick first step and instincts give him good range. He has a quick transfer and a plus-plus arm with accuracy, which allows him to make throws from deep in the hole and turn 4-6-3 double plays with ease. His awareness in the field is advanced and he’s shown the ability to make the barehanded play look routine and make strong throws from different angles. Scouts have called Arruebarruena a magician in the field, and if he can hit enough to be an everyday major league shortstop, he has the potential to win a Gold Glove.
Badler also shares about his offensive side :
The bat, however, is a major source of concern with Arruebarruena…. A righthanded hitter, Arruebarruena has a long swing, struggles with pitch recognition, swings through breaking balls in the strike zone and is prone to chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone. He has a pull-oriented approach and minimal power, so several scouts are skeptical he could hit better than .220 or hit a .300 on-base percentage against major league pitching. His lack of foot speed would also limit his appeal as a potential defensive-oriented backup, since he wouldn’t have as much value as a pinch-runner.
Badler states that the shortstop may have to start in the minors just because he may not be major league ready; possibly with a start in Double A because of his talent level and age.
With Jhonny Peralta off the market and Justin Turner non-tendered, the Mets are left to give the shortstop position to either Ruben Tejada or Wilfredo Tovar, unless they are able to land a better option. There is no guarantee that Arruebarruena is a better fit or would be ready to compete in the majors anytime soon. The scouting report doesn’t suggest that he is a good fit for the Mets, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look and maybe he is another special athlete from Cuba. With Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig making a splash the last two seasons, the thinking is that maybe Arruebarruena is another star in the making. There is no guarantee to that thinking, but he is worth a look.
(Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)