Badler: Scouts have extensive history with Cuban prospect Jose Abreu

From Ben Badler at Baseball America on October 18, 2013:

One of the things that drives international scouting directors nuts is when Cuban players who have starred on the country’s top national team are described as unknown.

In the case Jose Abreu, it’s absurd. Not only has the 26-year-old first baseman been a star in his home country, but major league teams have been able to evaluate Abreu extensively outside of Cuba.

“If I hear that the Cubans are going to be playing tomorrow in Russia,” said one international director, “I’m packing a bag and getting on the next flight.”

Over the last three years, teams have had the opportunity to log at least 243 at-bats from Abreu that Baseball America has documented. That doesn’t include another 25 or so at-bats from six warm-up games in Taiwan and Japan this year before the World Baseball Classic.

It also doesn’t include walks, hit by pitches and sacrifice flies that are harder to track at some of these events, so there’s probably at least 300 plate appearances that scouts could have legally seen of Abreu in person outside of Cuba, plus batting practice before every game.

Throw in extensive video libraries that the savvier teams have of his televised games in Cuba, and it’s clear that teams should know him well if they have done their homework.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 18, 2013. Last Updated: October 18, 2013.