I am not one to to lose my mind over baseball prospects. I don’t really pay attention to the Major League Baseball draft. When the Washington Nationals gave Stephen Strasburg a boatload of money last year, I questioned the move. I usually want to see the kids play a few innings in the bigs before we put them in the Hall of Fame.
When a big name free agent hits the market, fans of “small market” teams seldom even care. That is because their favorite team usually has no chance of landing said player. The latest phenom to hit the baseball world is Aroldis Chapman, a 21-year old Cuban defector.
In a shocking move, the team that won the bidding war was none other than the Cincinnati Reds. Topping the Red Sox, Angels, Blue Jays and Marlins, the Reds offered Chapman $30 million for six years and he took it.
Should Reds fans be excited? Absolutely. This kind of acquisition is rare for a team like the Reds. They should be excited because the team is obviously trying to win and I believe they can compete in the National League Central. Of course, the chill of winter makes me optimistic about the Reds playing winning baseball in the summer months.
Will Chapman be in Cincinnati on Opening Day? Most people who have seen him play conclude that he is not ready for the big leagues just yet. He seems to be blessed with amazing, raw talent and has a fastball that has been clocked in the triple digits. Oh yeah, he is also left-handed.
I have no clue if he will be a star or not. Neither do you. However, I do know one thing. You can’t teach someone to throw 100 mph. It is a God-given gift.
ESPN ran a fascinating story about Chapman several months ago. Escaping from your country is not something many of us can relate to.
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