Cardinals have interest in Lourdes Gurriel

lourdes-gourriel-jr-cuba

Lourdes Gurriel Jr., the younger brother of Astros infielder/DH Yulieski Gurriel, will host a showcase for interested teams on Sep. 14 in Panama City, according to Heyman. The Cardinals are one of about 20 teams planning to go watch the young shortstop, he notes. While the showcase will allow teams to get a look at the younger Gurriel, I can’t envision him actually signing until his 23rd birthday passes on Oct. 19. At that point, Gurriel will no longer be considered an amateur, and thus will no longer be subject to international signing bonuses.

Lourdes Gourriel Jr., a tall, rangy infielder, has been on the radar of some big league teams since 2010, when he played in the junior world championships as a 16-year-old. In the last season and a half, he has begun to blossom, hitting .314 with 16 home runs and 72 runs batted in over 97 games for Havana’s Industriales.

So at 22, he is following the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the Cuban federation with interest since it could make him the first Cuban in nearly 60 years to be able sign a big league contract while still on the island.

“Every player, this is the biggest dream you have,” Gourriel said at Havana’s Estadio Latinoamericano, his team’s home park. “I don’t think it’s that far away.”

A scouting report from Baseball America says reports on Lourdes are mixed. He’s a good athlete capable of playing an up-the-middle position, and while he has speed and power, his swing can get long. Gurriel has a lot of upside, but is also a bit of a project for a kid who will soon turn 23. He’s probably not someone who will zoom through the minors and be in the big leagues within a year. That’s fine. Talent is talent, and Lourdes has a lot of it.

 MLB Rumors\LA Times\Baseball America
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