MLB: Cuban Teenager Draws Comparisons to Yoenis Cespedes
Cuban defector, Luis Robert, is gaining praise in the baseball world as one of the best hitters to come from the island since Yoenis Cespedes.
Recently, Robert made his presence known at a showcase at the Born to Play Baseball Academy in Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic. When the 19-year-old outfielder took the field, he gave the scouts something new and exciting to pay attention too.
Scouts have been watching Robert since he was 14 years old and playing in the 16-and-younger league of Cuba. The next year, he was playing in the 18-and-younger league as a 15-year-old and putting all of the older players to shame. As one of the youngest players, Robert batted .325 and led the league with 21 steals. In his age 16 season in the Cuban 18-and-younger league, Robert batted .383.
Later that year, Robert was added to the All-Tournament team for the COPABE 18U Pan American Championship of 2014. Robert was added to the team after posting a .393 batting average in the tournament along with 11 stolen bases and 12 home runs.
Edgar Mercedes, who owns the Born to Play facility, has worked with and trained MLB players like Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Ynoa and Yunesky Maya. After working with these world class athletes, Mercedes is not stingy on the praise he has for the teenage Robert.
“Luis is the top prospect I have ever worked with,” explained Mercedes. “He might not be as strong as Cespedes was at that age, but he does have very fast hands and that makes up for the strength.”
His hand speed can be seen in this tweet:
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) February 24, 2017
MLB teams are anxiously awaiting the day Robert will be allowed to sign.
Robert views his signing day as one of the biggest moments in his career but refuses to let the pressure cloud his decision or give him undue anxiety.
“I’ve always been in a position where I was the youngest or trying to prove myself, so this won’t be different than what I have done before,” Explained Robert. I’m ready for the challenge.”
He has established residency in Hati, which is one of the first steps on the road to being signed by a MLB club. Robert will have a chance to show off his talent for all 30 teams in late March, following the World Baseball Classic.
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