Astros rank at top in Cuban prospects with Yanquiel Sanchez signing
The Astros reel in another Cuban prospect in Yanquiel Sanchez, a couple days after landing Carlos Espinosa.
The international pipeline has run even deeper, as the Houston Astros are expected to add their 16th Cuban player to the system. This number leads all of MLB, while the organization will sign left-handed pitcher Yanquiel Sanchez in about two weeks, as reported by Francys Romero.
The 20-year-old defected from Cuba in 2020, while he comes with a three-pitch arsenal. The lefty hurls a 92 MPH fastball, a 78 MPH curveball and a 80 MPH changeup. In his most recent season with the Alazanes de Granma in the Cuban National Series, he posted a 6.39 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 12.2 innings of work.
Sanchez’s name adds to the long list of Cuban players to sign with the Astros over the past five years, as many of the young athletes idolize first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
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The list is long, and although some names aren’t known yet or have been traded away, the front office continues to bet on Cuban ball players. We have hit on the loss of draft picks hurting the farm system and its ranking, but these names coming out of Latin countries are looking to be underrated.
Pedro Leon is the top position player in Houston’s system but doesn’t stand among the top 100 on some major news outlets’ rankings. While a multi-tooled outfielder and shortstop, the found talent in Cuba is bright.
While most teams including Houston have academies in the Dominican Republic, it would be interesting if other organizations start turning to Cuba for more prospects as well.