The Giants indeed did something cool today by signing a Cuban defector of their own, someone who looks like a serious speedster-- the latest and greatest import from the embargoed island.
There isn't a lot of video on him out there, but from the little highlight video put together by his handlers in Mexico, where he established residency, it looks like this guy could be a player.
Check it out below (embedded) or click here to go to YouTube.
First of all, this guy has a seriously chisled frame, and he looks really fast. Secondly, he has a great first name. Thirdly, I didn't see a bat flip once during the whole video! Let's hope his idols are Cespedes and Abreu instead of Chapman and Puig.
I feel like I'm off my game, because I honestly hadn't heard of this guy. He obviously didn't come with the fanfare of other guys like Dickhead Puig, Chapman, Abreu, Cespedes, or even Jorge Soler of the Cubs. Carbonell seemed to be a bit under the radar. Perhaps that's because he's not a big slugger, perhaps it's because the scouting community isn't sold on him.
According to this article by John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Mariners were in on him big time as well, and he provides some good info that fills in the blanks.
I also find it interesting that the only teams that showed public interest were Seattle, the Yankees, and Minnesota. Looks like the Giants kinda flew in under the radar and made a power move. Something that really impresses me.
There honestly isn't that much out there about him, so we're just going to have to wait for all the details to come out. What we do know is that Carbonell is on the Giants 40 man roster, and got a pretty team-friendly deal (see Hank Schulman tweets below).
There is this from Baseball America as well-- just to piss on our parade a little bit. God they're always so negative:
"According to several scouts, Carbonell looks good in a workout, where he can showcase his athleticism and blazing speed, but there are reservations about his hitting. One scout clocked him going from home to first from the right side in 4.0 seconds, which translates to 80 speed on the 20-80 scale. With an arm that scouts have thrown average to plus grades on, Carbonell has the tools to be a good defensive center fielder. He has 50-55 raw power, but scouts have been hesitant to warm up to his bat. Carbonell has been switch-hitting, with scouts saying he struggles to hit righthanded and that he may have to drop his lefty stroke altogether.
Carbonell does have tools to work with, and he will almost certainly start his career in the minors, with high Class A perhaps a fit given his present ability, though at 23 there may be a temptation to get him to Double-A. Some scouts think that if his bat comes around, he could develop into a fourth outfielder, possibly along the lines of Roger Bernadina, though Bernadina was more advanced at the same age."
This also means that his presence makes other positional prospects a little more expendable in the trade market-- especially outfielders. Not to say there's a ton of them in the Giants farm system, but you get what I'm saying.
Here are some other details from Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter:
Obviously the jury is still out. He may pan out, he may not. Personally, I'm just excited that the Giants are being active on the international market-- especially on Cubans. They've missed out on all the guys I've mentioned before-- and if they could go back and do it again, I'm sure they'd be in.
Being proactive is a good thing, and I can't wait to see how this turns out.