By Reynaldo Cruz
Cuban prospect Brandon Mayea, a native of Alamar, in the Havana del Este municipality, could sign with the New York Yankees, according to the prestigious statistics and analysis site FanGraphs. Mayea is currently 17 years old, and his value of 45 in the FanGraphs ranking places him just 5 points below a player who plays as a regular in the major leagues.
Mayea, who I was able to see play in April 2018, has a powerful arm, a powerful bat and leg speed. He is also an excellent fielder in the outfield, and he has something that often worries some of the general managers: intangibles. Even back then, when he was just 13 years old, Brandon knew which base to throw to, when to come in ball-in-hand and when to throw to the cutoff man. On top of all that, he carried a psychological component that is often lost even in major league ballplayers: Brandon Mayea was having fun on the field.
The young outfielder impressed the entire North American team that was present as part of an exchange organized by Teen Cultures Connect, from Connecticut, to the point that the following year, when the organization returned to make a trip to the famous El Picadero field in Alamar, the first thing they did was to inquire about that talent they had heard about through those who had traveled the previous year. The answer from the coaches was that Mayea had left the country and had settled in the Dominican Republic.
Particularly, I never doubted the talent of this boy, placed on the list with four other Cubans as potential to sign international contracts. The time in which they estimate he will arrive is 2023, and their report indicates that:
“Mayea derives his power from precise, flush contact. Though somewhat more physically mature than most prospects his age, he isn’t especially big and strong, nor projectable. He simply has great feel for contact and swings with rotational verve, and the combination is enough to punish the baseball. Short levers and prodigious bat control help drive impact hit tool projection, while his posture through contact creates natural swing loft that indicates he’ll get to whatever power he ends up growing into. Additionally, Mayea looks poised to stay up the middle of the diamond due to his speed, defensive instincts, and medium build. This makes him an exceptional, well-rounded prospect for his age. Industry sources indicate Mayea and the Yankees have a verbal agreement for just shy of $5 million.”
If the deal goes through, we would have another Cuban in the winningest franchise in MLB history. I believe he could make it, because he has plenty of tools and youth.
The next #Cuban baseball star in MLB could end up signing with the New York Yankees soon, according to several sources— SABR Cuban Baseball Research Group (@SABRCubanBall) December 28, 2022
Outfielder Brandon Mayea 🇨🇺, 17, is from Havana and this photo is from 2⃣0⃣1⃣8⃣, while he was playing an exhibition game there
📸 @reycd321 pic.twitter.com/RqjII1KeUV
Brandon Mayea, a top Cuban SS prospect that is expected to sign with the #Yankees next month, takes live BP in the Dominican Republic.— John Brophy (@jbrophybaseball) December 22, 2022
Video via his Instagram pic.twitter.com/gBJBhTcPde