Two Cuban teens have left the Cuban team at the Junior World Championships in Edmonton and are apparently defecting. Here’s the scoop on the two players from BA’s scouting contacts.
The pitcher is lefthander Noel Arguellez, who has pro size at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. Scouts describe him as tall and lanky with a live arm, with a fastball with natural cutting action and sink. One source wrote that Arguellez sits around 90 mph in his Serie Nacional appearances. He’s thrown as hard as 93 mph and works primarily off his fastball, with more rudimentary curveballs and changeups. His curve has shown potential, however. His exact age isn’t known, though the cutoff for Junior events is 18. Arguellez pitched in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, and according to baseballdecuba.com, he went 3-2, 5.82 with 22 strikeouts in 21.2 innings for the Havana Cowboys this past season.
The other player is infielder Jose Iglesias, primarily a second baseman and a righthanded hitter. Scouting details on Iglesias are harder to come by, but he’s regarded as a strong defender, and he also hit .322 in Serie Nacional this winter/spring, with 101 hits in 314 at-bats. However, one source lists Iglesias as around 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds and lacking much power. No word yet on what kind of runner he is.
Neither player is really close to big league ready, but they both sound like intriguing prospects, especially Arguellez as a projectable lefthander with present velocity. Iglesias would be more attractive at his size if he runs average at least; anything less hurts his profile because of his lack of strength and power.
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