Police in Tampa, Fla., last week charged Yankees prospect Omar Luis with driving under the influence after the young lefthander was driving his Mercedes in the wrong direction on a one-way street, The Associated Press reported.
Luis, 21, was charged Friday and released on $500 bail. According to the AP, police said his blood-alcohol level was determined to be 0.10 percent. Florida law considers a driver impaired at 0.08 percent.
The Yankees declined comment, the AP reported.
The Yankees signed the Cuban lefthander for a $2.5 million bonus in 2013. He was surprisingly available for the Rule 5 draft in December, but was not chosen.
Luis struck out 43 batters in 31 2/3 innings in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, but walked nearly a batter per inning with 29 walks and a 5.68 ERA.
The stats were unusual for Luis, who was lauded for his pitchability and savvy on the Cuban junior national team, though the rust from spending eight months without picking up a baseball in Haiti was understandable and made him tricky to evaluate. A stocky 6 feet, 210 pounds, Luis did show swing-and-miss stuff with an 89-95 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup that can both flash average, with a head whack at the end of his delivery that affects his command.
Luis only pitched briefly in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, but he was one of the country’s best pitchers in his age group. He was an all-star at the 18U World Championship in Thunder Bay, Ont. in 2010, where he threw 137 pitches and struck out 10 in a complete-game shutout against Canada.