Report: Cuban INF Olivera impresses at showcase
When it comes to Cuban infielders, much of the attention has focused on 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, who is expected to sign with a team by the end of the month.
Another Cuban, Hector Olivera, can’t match Moncada’s young age or sky-high potential. But the 29-year-old second baseman is generating plenty of interest in his own right.
Olivera played a showcase game in front of hundreds of scouts in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, with Baseball America’s Ben Badler tweeting that the Dodgers, Giants, A’s and Padres were among the teams with a “notable presence” at the event. Olivera did not let them down, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances, including two doubles.
This was the third showcase for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Olivera, who has played second and third while displaying power and above-average speed, according to Badler. He has a strong track record in Cuba, where he hit .316/.412/.474 with seven homers in 73 games during the 2013-14 season, after missing the previous year. Olivera is expected to be declared a free agent by Major League Baseball sometime soon and figures to have plenty of suitors when he does.
— Andrew Simon