As I suggested in this space almost three weeks ago, Alex Anthopoulos made his play for coveted Cuban defector shortstop Adenis Hechavarria, and if reports are true, he has apparently been successful, and not only that - successful in signing a player the Yankees wanted pretty intently.
I can't tell you how pleased I am about the signing, but the fact that he picked the Jays over the Yankees is like a warm sweet syrup poured all over the top.
He's been compared to such Luminaries as Alphonso Soriano and Ichero Suzuki. His defense is said to be better than former teammate and current Red sox prospect Jose Iglesias who has been described as a world class defender.
The only fly in this story is that apparently Hec (gotta have a nickname for a name that hard to spell!) is 21, not 19 as was previously reported. But even that might not be so bad, theoretically it might mean he's closer to the bigs. the problem we have is that ideally you'd start a guy like this at Dunedin. Both the level of competition and the weather works for you there.
but the Jays already have two of their three best SS prospects tentatively at the High A level, and Farm Director Tony LaCava says the Jays will put a guy where he belongs, not push him because he's "supposed" to be promoted.
So what to do? Well, bumping Tyler Pastornicky back to Lansing is a relatively easy call. He's just turned 20 and while he did reach Dunedin last year, it was for a mere 63 at bats. It's not like he owned Lo-A either. At Lansing his BA was .266 and his OBP (hes no slugger so we won't speak of that) was only .331, so let's dispense with the illusion he is somehow entitled to a promotion.
the other presumptive Dunedin shortstop is personal favorite Justin Jackson. Jackson was sidelined most of the second half of last season by a shoulder injury. the same injury which possibly contributed to his horrendous stat line for the Hi-A Jays last year. My thought here is that you hold Jackson in extended Spring Training in order to see if he's all the way back from the injury and work on his mechanics. Let Hec start the year in Dunedin with an eye towards promoting him to AA in Early May at which time Jackson gets activated.
This is just my speculation, I have no idea how it will play out.
In fact, it's probably time I admitted that the reports are as yet unconfirmed that he will in fact sign with the Jays, but hey, you know what I mean.
Looking ahead a few years you could see a 2013 lineup that included Hill, Lind, Snider, Wallace, Hec, and one or both of D'Arnoud and Arencibia (one wonders who might be shifted to 3B in the upcoming years if Alex doesn't make a trade for one). that's a pretty solid (potentially) offensive core to go along with considerable depth of talent on the mound.
What's not to like!?