Yesterday the Blue Jays signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to a four-year, $10 million contract and today general manager Alex Anthopoulos gives a scouting report on the 21-year-old prospect:
The financial commitment speaks for itself. We are hoping that this is someone who can emerge and be a core piece for us. This is a significant signing. He’s the total package. He has very good range, above-average throwing arm and above-average defense. We absolutely believe he is going to stay at shortstop.
Just about everything I’ve seen written or said about Hechavarria suggests his bat has much more upside than his glove, so (if true) Anthopoulos saying that the Blue Jays believe he’ll be able to stick at shortstop is significant.
Anthopoulos added that Hechavarria will initially head to extended spring training before likely making his pro debut next month at Single-A and perhaps finishing the season at Double-A. He’s unlikely to make it to Toronto this year, although the GM said that hasn’t been ruled out. For now the Blue Jays have 33-year-old Alex Gonzalez as a place-holder shortstop and he’s off to a huge start.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.
Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.
The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.