Where Should You Be Drafting Yasmany Tomas in Fantasy Baseball?
Until you see one of these highly-touted Cuban stars play in the Majors, you really don't know what you have.
Sure, there have been plenty of success stories from Cuba in recent years. Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Aroldis Chapman, and Yoenis Cespedes are four of the bigger success stories of Cuban players making it in the Majors, with youngsters such as Rusney Castillo and Jorge Soler preparing to show what they can do for the first time here in 2015.
Joining them will be Arizona Diamondbacks' slugger Yasmany Tomas. The 24-year-old is listed as a third baseman on the official team depth chart, however, it seems likely that he'll end up being the team's starting left fielder this year, as the third base experiment in spring training has not gone terribly well.
But the Diamondbacks didn't fall in love with Tomas because of his defensive ability. They fell in love with his power, which was routinely on display when he played in Cuba's professional league. Behold.
So far this spring, Tomas is 9-for-37, hitting .243 with a .282 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .432, with 1 home run and 2 RBI. Of course, this is a ridiculously small sample size, he's hitting against many pitchers who won't be on a 25-man roster at the start of the season, and he has the distraction of trying to learn a new position all while playing baseball in a strange country speaking a different language than most of his teammates.
Gee, that's not too many obstacles to overcome, is it?
Despite his promise, most projections for Tomas in 2015 are on the conservative side.
Frankly, the Diamondbacks would likely be happy with either of those projections no matter what position Tomas ends up playing.
Much of his value in the early part of the season will be position flexibility. He is eligible to be drafted at either third base or outfield, with his value a bit higher at the hot corner than as an outfielder. But if he can hit about 20 homers, knock in about 60 or 70 runs ,and provide a slash of around .260/.310/.450, all while not embarrassing himself on defense, he could be a useful guy to have around.
The good news is, Tomas is likely going to get a chance to stick around for a while. A six-year, $68.5 million contract tend to has that effect.
So, where is Tomas going in most yearly drafts? Scanning a wide range of mocks and average draft positions of different leagues, Tomas is being taken anywhere from the low 100s to the low 200s. If you're drafting him as an outfielder, chances are you're taking him later than if you drafted him as a third baseman. In a 12-team league, the low 100s puts him in the eighth round, while the low 200s has him being taken in the 16th round. In auction leagues, Tomas is going as low as $2 in some places and as high as $16, with an average value of around $6.
It all depends on how good you feel about the number of plate appearances he'll be given by the D-Backs this year (a team that is not under pressure to win in 2015) and how quickly Tomas can adjust to the game at the Major League level.
Make no mistake, Tomas does not come into this league with the pedigree of Jose Abreu. He is not on that level. But there is a solid chance Tomas can be a productive enough offensive player to warrant being taken in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft.