Cuban phenoms have taken baseball by storm in recent years. The San Francisco Giants, come the offseason, will have a gaping void in left field. Marry the two together, and you get: Yasmany Tomas. The next big, Cuban defector. The Giants have been seriously aggressive of late in the international market, probably due to the success of Yasiel Puig. Anything the Dodgers can do, the Giants can do better.
Rusney Castillo was the latest, shiny, must-have Cuban. Despite going to the Boston Red Sox at the end of the day, the Giants were indeed among the frontrunners. Tomas declared free agency a few days ago, and hence will be available for any team to sign. Without any draft pick compensation, being in prime age and being Cuban, he is hot property. The Giants are once more among the leaders in the race for Yasmany, an extremely powerful outfielder. Oh, that just happens to be what San Francisco are after this offseason.
So — who, or what is a Yasmany Tomas? To encapsulate him in one word: Powerful. According to fangraphs, he is a potential 70 power hitter — on the 20-80 scale. Which, as you have probably guessed, is really, really good. It would typically, if all goes to plan, translate into around thirty big league home runs. His bat moves like lightning through the strike zone, and the ball explodes off of his bat. He is a solid base runner and an average defensive player.
There is, of course, a serious downfall: His hit tool. Sadly, like all modern day power-hitters, with such a quick, and big swing, he struggles to make contact. There are serious questions as to whether he could hit enough to be a major leaguer, and in turn, whether that could have an impact on his power. With the success of international free-agents of late, I assume the Giants would be willing be take a gamble on Tomas.
One factor, which puts off many people will be his price. Sadly, with inevitable inflation given the new television deal all teams signed last year, and given how thin the free-agent market is, if the Giants want Tomas, they will have to pay. Early indications suggest his contract will be north of seven-years-$100-million. Rightly so, most people will dismay at this figure. However, don’t be. He is projected to be a two-to-three win player. With a win worth around six million, it is a reasonable price.
All considered, while it is a risk, it is most certainly worth taking. The power potential is too good to ignore, especially seeing that Michael Morse is unlikely to return to AT&T Park. The price-tag is high, but fair. With the Giants needing some home-run-threats in the lineup, look no further than the Cuban outfielder, Yasmany Tomas.