In the never ending pursuit of cheaper, albeit older international talent, it seems half of Major League Baseball went over to Mexico and see the Alexi Bell showcase, with the Cuban outfielder watches by the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds.
The interest in Bell isn’t just because he isn’t an international bonus pool player anymore due to his age and experience in Cuban baseball. He has some impressive numbers over the years playing in Cuba, showing consistent hitting in league play and an impressive ability to draw out walks without striking out. He has a .319/.417/.547 line in 3,441 plate appearances, and has struck out only eight more times than he has walked over that time.
The 32 year old is leaving legally and isn’t defecting, hoping it hastens his clearance timeline and makes him a free agent as soon as possible. He’s been a long time player on the Cuban national teams as well, although he hasn’t been as consistent there like he has been in the league. His performances for the Capitales of Quebec, in the Canadian-American Association weren’t too impressive either in 2015, with 241 plate appearances, just two home runs and a .317/.363/.424 batting line, while striking out almost twice as much as he gained walks.
No word is leaking about the impression he left in the showcase, but he’s not an automatic major leagues from the looks of it, which in his case meant he needed a strong showing in front of so many major league scouts presenting their curiosity. If he does end up playing in the majors, he has what is considered to be a plus arm, and should fit in well at right field.