Here we go again: Yasmany Tomas, a Cuban power-hitter working out in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, has let it be known that he is ready to grace major league baseball parks with his presence, and teams from both leagues are tripping over each other, lining up to make Tomas an offer. Reportedly, the San Francisco Giants, along with the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and various other clubs, have sent scouts down to Santo Domingo, to check out the latest rising star, to have escaped from the little island, ninety miles off the coast of Florida.
The subject of the Giants pursuing Rusney Castillo came up earlier this year, prior to his signing a 72.5 million dollar, seven-year contract with Boston, and I was not a fan, preferring that if the Giants are going to spend seriously big bucks for an outfielder, it should be one with a proven resume.
Yes, Tomas is supposed to be able to hit home runs, but being able to “regularly hit balls over the center field scoreboard that rises several stories above the 411-foot sign at his recent home park in the Dominican,” as Baseball Insider’s Jon Heyman put it, and being able to hit home runs at the major league level, are two different things.
Jesse Sanchez, a reporter for MLB.com, wrote, “As a player, Tomas is known for his power and has a reputation for launching home runs. But he also has a reputation for big swings and misses. Some scouts have characterized him as a ‘high-risk, high-reward’ type of player.”
With San Francisco playing half of its games at AT&T Park, where home runs go to die, the emphasis on power hitters, is not what it might be in a park such as Philadelphia’s.
Taking risks on unproven players is an expensive venture-stick to the formula.
No, if Brian Sabean were to pass onPablo Sandoval
, thereby freeing up some capital for a left fielder to replaceMichael Morse
, it should not be spent on another unproven commodity, who has decided to forego the inconvenience of the minor league system, to launch a career under the lights.
Jul 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Michael Morse (38) before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
It’s possible, I will grudgingly admit, that my opinion is skewed by the antics of Yasiel Puig, whose petulant demeanor and elevated opinion of himself, detract from any actual accomplishments he may achieve. I am old-school enough, to appreciate that instant success comes only to the genuinely gifted player, and contrary to popular belief, being from Cuba is not any more of a guarantee for success, than being from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, or Bumflock, Egypt.
Those who disagree with me, are welcome to do so, with my blessing. I have watched the Giants achieve unparalleled success in the National League, employing a formula that blends home-grown products, with judiciously selected impact players, such as Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan, two known commodities. With the element of chemistry being a huge component in the Giants’ success, I think it unadvisable to pursue Yasmany Tomas.
Why mess with a working formula?
Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence waves to the crowd during the World Series celebration at City Hall. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in game seven of the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports