If all goes well, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will have a fellow Cuban in the Dodgers clubhouse in 2014.
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that the Dodgers have signed Cuban second baseman Alexander Guerrero:
Guerrero is a power hitting second baseman who will replace Mark Ellis at the keystone in 2014, assuming he is deemed ready for big league pitching in spring training.
Here is a quick scouting report from Ben Badler at Baseball America:
At 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Guerrero’s best tool is his righthanded power. It’s not outstanding raw power, but some scouts have given him above-average raw power and say his pop seems to have increased since he arrived in the Dominican Republic.
One thing Guerrero has going for him is that some scouts think he can stay in the middle of the infield, although shortstop is probably out of the question. His hands and actions are playable but he doesn’t have the first-step quickness or range to play shortstop and he can be a bit stiff in the field. Second base could be an option for him and a team that likes him a lot will probably play him there.
Last season, he hit .290-.402-.576 with 21 HRs and a solid strikeout to walk rate of 39-30 in 328 plate appearances. In his last three seasons in Cuba, he hit 62 home runs in 874 at bats, and has hit .290 or better in each of his last six seasons in Cuba.
If he should make the team out of spring training, the Dodgers lineup will be stacked:
Matt Kemp/Andre Ethier
free agent third baseman
Badler stated in his report that he would probably start out in AA or AAA, so it is quite possible that the Dodgers could look for a one year stop gap at second base until he is ready for the big leagues. I will update this post as we learn more about the Dodgers plans for him.
If we learn that he will be the Dodgers starting second baseman in 2014, I would probably rank him in my top 12 at second base for 2014. He hits for average, has power and a solid eye at the plate.
For more on Guerrero, check out True Blue LA, SB Nation's Dodgers fan site.