Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Mets are one of a few teams who have expressed interest in 28-year old Cuban catching prospect Yenier Bello.
Sanchez shares that Bello is expected to sign before the start of Spring Training.
Bello, hit .274 with 13 home runs in Cuba’s La Serie Nacional, the country’s top amateur league, in 2011. He hit 75 home runs and drove in 297 runs in his last five seasons in Cuba, primarily with Sancti Spíritus.
Back in November MLB teams expanded their search for free agent talent to Tijuana, Mexico and between 15 and 20 teams had scouts on hand to watch Bello hit and throw. Bryce Dixon of Primo Sports Group spoke with sportsnet.ca and shared a key element to what interested the scouts, “Bello’s throwing arm and his power are his two calling cards.”
It will be interesting to see who actually signs Bello by spring training and how he does against major league pitching. Pictures can be deceiving, but he looks like he has a solid frame for a catcher and if he is as good as Dixon suggests, he may be a steal for whoever lands him.
Thoughts from Joe D.
There doesn’t appear to be as much buzz for Bello as some of his more recent fellow Cuban players to defect. MLBTR wrote that Bello doesn’t appear to be on the same prospect level as Jose Dariel Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and Aroldis Chapman.
The Mets currently enjoy some exceptional depth at catching from Triple-A on down. In fact, it’s probably the best it has been in franchise history. I kid you not. What we need is some quality outfielders, corner men and middle infielders that can move through the system quickly.
(Photo courtesy: www.thecubanhistory.com and Primo Sports Group)