Lefthanded pitcher Aroldis Chapman, the hardest thrower for Cuba and its de facto No. 1 starter during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, reportedly has left the Cuban national team (Google translation) in the Netherlands. One veteran international scout has confirmed to BA that Chapman has left the team and is seeking to defect. … He did pitch in the WBC this spring, though, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun and averaging 93 mph in a 44-pitch outing against Japan. He also pitched against Australia in Mexico City, where a scout we talked to this spring saw him and was impressed.
Here’s one scout’s opinion:
“He was unreal in Mexico City and just OK in San Diego. There were rumors heading into Mexico that he wouldn’t be there because they were afraid he would defect, but he was there and was lights out. If you are looking for more than that in a pitcher, you’ll be searching your whole life. He was so much fun to watch. If he’s 21 like he’s listed, the sky’s the limit. You’ve got honestly just one or two tweaks that could be made but he could go straight to the top of a big league rotation. He’s got a great body, definitely has high pockets, absolutely. He’s on top of the hitter, his release has extension, he’s got the ball coming out of there at 100 mph. He’s absolutely electric.”
video of Chapman pitching after the jump
Get him Kenny! Get him!