After years of an inept international scouting base, the Phillies have an opportunity to add a Cuban outfielder
Phillies General Manager Matt Klentak has talked about beefing up the teams international scouting base, and recently made some hires to do that. One player the club could entertain is 23-year-old Cuban defector Dairon Blanco, who can hit for average and run like Billy Hamilton.
Last year while playing in Serie Nacional, Blanco hit .296 with 29 walks and 42 strikeouts. The key to the outfielders game is speed, which he rates as an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He stole 29 bases in 33 attempts, and had eight triples to lead the league.
Reports are that Blanco can run from 1st base to home in four seconds.
The ball sounds great coming off his bat by the way.
Scouts have projected Blanco to play left field because of his average arm, but he has played mainly out in center and right in Cuba.
Blanco is a free agent, but because he is 23 and only played four years in Cuba, he is still subject to the international-pool.
You can not expect Blanco to jump right into the major leagues, but he could start somewhere in the middle of the Phillies minor league system. While historically the club has had little success with players such as Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Klentak has given the international department a facelift.
With an opportunity to sign a player who at worst is a speed demon who could steal 20-30 bags, Klentak can flex his muscles and prove the organization is heading in the right direction.