Thursday, July 2, 2009

Breaking News: Cuba's Aroldis Chapman Defects

Chapman is generally regarded as one of the best International players

According to, 21yo, left-hander, Aroldis Chapman, has defected from the Cuban National team at a tournament in the Netherlands. For those of you not familiar with Chapman, he was the Cuban National Team’s best pitcher, who made a big splash by hitting 100mph against Japan in this past Spring’s World Baseball Classic. Chapman is generally regarded as the second best International talent, not presently under Major League contract, behind only Japan’s Yu Darvesh.

Against Australia, in Cuba’s opening WBC game, Chapman went 4 innings, allowing 1 run while fanning 7, throwing 45 of 67 pitches for strikes. In four seasons in the Cuban Baseball League he has posted a 3.65 ERA, fanning approximately 10 batters per IP, but walking nearly 6 batters per IP. In the most recent season, he went 11-4, with a 4.03 ERA, 62 BB, and 130Ks, in 118IP.

The book on Chapman is that he has a fastball that ‘sits’ in the upper 90’s, reaching more than 100MPH. He has a slider, with tremendous late, downward, movement and a mediocre change. He throws from a very repeatable ¾ delivery, but he lacks requisite control on all of his pitches. He is a project, who would likely spend a season in AA, if/when he were to sign a Major League contract. He has the ceiling of a front of the rotation stud, but if he doesn’t further develop his secondary offerings, he could easily profile as a power late inning guy. Given his skill set, he would certainly rank among the Top 50 prospects in the game.

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