The Houston Astros made their biggest splash in free agency in the Jeff Luhnow era with the signing of Yulieski Gourriel. Now it's time for Yulieski's brother Lourdes Jr. to take the stage after his defection from Cuba.
Lots of baseball folks in at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama today for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Showcase #Cuba pic.twitter.com/JgmaUwUSZW— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) September 14, 2016
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was a part of a larger showcase today in Panama at Rod Carew Stadium. Gurriel, 22, is expected is an international free agent and is expected to sign with a major league team following his 23rd birthday on Oct. 19 to remove limitations of the international signing pool. Gurriel is expected to start private workouts soon, per MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
The Astros signed Yulieski Gourriel, 32, to a 5-year, $47.5 million deal with the Astros in July.
MLB.com ranks Gurriel as the sixth-best international free agent at the moment, noting:
(Lourdes) Gurriel was hitting .321 with eight home runs, 32 RBIs and a .924 OPS in 43 games for the Havana Industriales this season before defecting with his brother in February after the Caribbean Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A good runner with a good glove, Lourdes is athletic enough play infield and outfield, which is part of his appeal to scouts. He's shown some power potential at the plate and is still honing his overall approach.
Some evaluators believe Lourdes could be considered the top overall player in this year's class because he has a shorter path to the Major Leagues due to his age and experience.
On top of that, he’s already said he’d “love” to play with his brother with the Astros.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. told reporters in Panama that he'd love to play with his brother Yulieski in Houston. #Cuba pic.twitter.com/b1IbaDVQh9— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) September 14, 2016
Oh and Carlos Lee was there too:
Former Major Leaguer Carlos Lee (Panama) chats with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in Panama. #Cuba pic.twitter.com/wan6coviCT— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) September 14, 2016