UPDATE: Scouts are now telling Baseball America that Garcia is NOT eligible for the draft. We'll have more on the Garcia situation as the week progresses.
It's not often a player emerges as a pop-up candidate to go in the first round the day of the draft—especially in a year with this kind of depth—but such is the case this year with Onelkis Garcia Speck, a lefthander who defected from Cuba. Garcia could go as highly as the back half of the first round.
Details on Garcia are fuzzy, but Baseball America has learned that he throws in the 92-95 mph range with an above-average curveball. An article (in Spanish) in The New Herald by Jorge Ebro from January said Garcia Speck was 20 years old.
According to one source, Garcia pitched three seasons with Guantanamo, going 12-12, 4.73 over 205 innings. In 46 games (45 starts), he struck out 195 but walked 128. His last season was 2009-10, when he went 5-6, 3.40.
Update (Ben Badler, 6:04 PM): According to multiple international directors, Major League Baseball sent teams a memo on Saturday at 10 p.m. E.T. to inform them that Garcia Speck is eligible for the draft. Garcia, who was also reported as a 21-year-old who is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, is represented by Los Angeles-based agent Gus Dominguez, who scouts said had scheduled a workout for Garcia Speck to be seen on Saturday, June 11 at Pierce Junior College.
Multiple international directors expressed frustration that MLB would declare a Cuban defector draft-eligible on such short notice, suggesting that the player likely already has a deal in place with a team. Others added that they would be elated if another team used a high draft pick on Garcia Speck, who struggled with his control in Cuba.
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