If you’re unfamiliar with Lazarito, he’s a 16-year-old Cuban phenom, outfield prospect, whose real name is Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango.
But he goes by just one name — Lazarito. He’s like Prince. And I love that WWE-style vignette, putting the MLB on notice that he’s coming for that ass. If that video was any preview of what’s to come, it looks like he’s going to be a master of the pimp job once he starts mashing home runs at the major league level. But, from what I’ve read, he’s not a one-dimensional player. Far from it, actually. Everything that I’ve read about this kid points to him being a superstar in the making.
One veteran American League international scout called him young and raw, but a rare talent with signs of Willie Mays and Bo Jackson, due to his combination of speed and power.
The scout, unauthorized to speak publicly on Armenteros because the player has not yet been cleared to sign by Major League Baseball, said he will be a frontline star.
The reason he’s in the news today is because he becomes eligible to sign with any team that he chooses on February 10, and it’s widely expected that he won’t be available for very long once he’s eligible to sign. According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, the Atlanta Braves are “making a strong push” to sign the outfielder, and will be holding a private workout with him this Saturday. Sanchez also notes that it will take somewhere between $15-20 million to sign Lazarito, “but that number could rise if teams get into a bidding war.”
If you’re a Rays, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees or Diamondbacks fan, and you’re getting excited at the possibility of your team being in the mix for Lazarito, you can stop now. All five of those teams exceeded their international bonus pool, making them ineligible to sign him.