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Baseball America: 2017 Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects
neither please

thank you.
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To replace Edwin, maybe. A Morales/Trumbo combo vs Edwin/Smoak would be interesting at a similar price.
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Person of Interest: Cuban prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Naoko Asano   November 11, 2016, 3:15 PM

The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly signed Cuban infielder/outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to a multi-year deal. (According to the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman, it’s a seven-year deal worth $22 million.) We did some digging to learn more about the 23-year-old prospect.


Gurriel Jr., who was born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, is the younger brother of 32-year-old Houston Astros third baseman Yulieski Gurriel. The Gurriel brothers defected from Cuba in February of 2016. According to a story in the New York Times, the brothers defected after appearing in the Carribean World Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The Gurriel brothers come from a baseball family: their father had been a player himself and had managed Cuba’s national team, and the Gurriel family is described by the Times as “baseball royalty in Cuba.”


Gurriel Jr. has been considered one of Cuban baseball’s brightest stars. Across 1,098 plate appearances in the Serie Nacional, he slashed .277/.362/.426. He’d joined the league as a 16-year-old.

Gurriel Jr. was declared a free agent by MLB in August. At the time he was 22, which meant he was subject to international bonus pool spending rules. Gurriel Jr. turned 23 on Oct. 19, and he was expected to hold off signing until after his birthday. He held his showcase for major-league teams on Sept. 13 in Panama.

Listed at six-foot-four, 205 lbs., Gurriel Jr. has played every infield position and has spent time in left field. He's expected to require one-to-two years of development in the minors.
The newest Blue Jay nearly took his skills to Japan last year: The elder Gurriel brother played half a season for the Yokohama DeNa BayStars in 2014, and he'd agreed to return to the team in 2015 only if it also signed Lourdes. Both players appeared on the team's spring training roster but, according to a story from the Japan Times, they did not report to camp.

For more on Gurriel Jr.'s skills, you can read a prospect report from Baseball America's Ben Badler, written in 2015.


Take a look at Gurriel Jr.'s social media accounts and it's clear that he's a fan of the Mannequin Challenge. He also appears to cheer for the Miami Heat. Here's a photo of Gurriel Jr. with Chris Bosh.

And here's a photo of Gurriel Jr. in a Blue Jays T-shirt, taken almost a year ago . . .

You can follow Gurriel Jr. on Twitter and Instagram.

Is he now their top prospect? Maybe #2?
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Right now, I wouldn't think so. Be in the Top 5 though likely.
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Great signing for the Jays. He's got a smooth swing with natural loft and easy extra base power.

Right now I'd slot him in behind Tellez on the prospect list but he could easily jump up to the top 3 with a good showing in the minors.
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Cuban players are notoriously hard to project so I think the only safe thing to say about Gurriel Jr is that we really dont know what he will be.

The only sort of legit comparison we have is that he is said to be the lesser player between him and his older brother (and his Cuban stats seem to support that) and we have seen at least a glimpse of his brother in the majors.  He slashed .262/.292/.385 for an 82 wRC+ and 0.1 fWAR last year in 127 PA's with the Astros.

The elder Gurriel is aslo 32 years old though so it is entirely possible, likely even, that we are not seeing him at his peak. So even that comp has a lot of issues (small sample size being the other).

Lots of scouts seem to agree that Gurriel Jr is a tier or two below someone like Moncada though.
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Fangraphs had a short write up today on Gurriel.
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In case anyone missed Baseball Prospectus' top 10 Jays prospects earlier this month...

I like that they have Vlad Jr 3rd on their list given how far away he is from the majors. And Conner Greene's modelling photo still cracks me up every time I see it.
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