In the first off-season for Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart, the club made a splash in the International free agent market when they came to terms with Cuban third baseman/outfielder Yasmany Tomas. The D-Backs signed the 24-year old prospect out of Cuba to a $68 million contract and have given him a crack to win the starting third base job.
He hasn’t won it yet, but Tomas has improved over the course of Spring Training.
"“Uh, we’re getting there,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale told Yahoo Sports last week. “He’s really starting to drive the ball. And his defense is going to be OK. Haven’t seen anything to say he can’t play here.”"
In 19 games this spring, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound right-handed power hitter has hit .268/.317/.446 with two home runs, eight RBI and 12 strikeouts in 59 plate appearances. He’s got a ton of pop, and even greater upside, but has a long way to go defensively at the hot corner and could find himself in left field in the long run (first base might have been an option if not for Paul Goldschmidt).
Also, Tomas is sure to be challenged by Major League pitchers – especially since the D-Backs’ won’t be able to offer him much protection in the lineup outside of Goldschmidt. There’s still a chance he will open the season in the minors, but Tomas will see plenty of playing time in the big leagues for the rebuilding Diamondbacks in 2015.
Next: Jorge Soler