With Yasmany Tomas off the boards, there are more Cuban ball players that are getting noticed by major-league ball clubs. Cuban right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez hosted an open showcase for scouts in the Dominican Republic on November 8th, who also has another showcase scheduled in the Dominican Republic for next week.
The 21-year-old Cuban defector has already had strong interest expressed of him by the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who signed Tomas to a deal the other day, sources tell Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Yoan Lopez is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound pitcher from the island nation of Cuba. Lopez has defected from his home country, establishing residency in Haiti. Also, he has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, but he has yet to be cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). When he is cleared by the OFAC, he can sign with whatever team he chooses.
Before defecting from Cuba, Lopez played in three seasons for Isla de la Juventud in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. For Isla de la Juventad in his final season, Lopez recorded a 3.12 ERA, along with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49 innings of work.
As for Lopez, he throws a cut-fastball, a change, a curve and a slider, but is best known for a fastball that hovers in the 93-to-95 MPH range. His fastball has been clocked at 100 MPH three times since he began working out for teams.
Since Lopez is under the age of 23 and has not played in a Series Nacional for at least five seasons, he is subject to the international signing guidelines.