Signed OF-R Yasmany Tomas to a six-year contract worth $68.5 million. [11/26]
Tomas brings middle-of-the-order power to the DBacks, with some question as to how much of the plus to double-plus raw will play in-game. It’s a leveraged swing that produces moonshots and empty cuts alike in the zone, with a rotational uppercut that creates a swing plane seldom in unison with pitch trajectory. He can extend early, as well, limiting his power the other way while further complicating contact against the soft stuff. That means the home run totals will be dependent on Tomas’ natural bat-to-ball, as well as his ability to put together quality at-bats that help him sniff out offerings in his kill zone—two areas of his game that evaluators are still split on, thanks to inconsistent showings on the international stage.
Defensively it’s a corner glove, with Tomas flashing above-average arm strength and solid carry, making him a potential fit in either outfield corner. The run is below average and the ability to finish outdistances the reads off the bat and routes. But the materials are here for an average defender, provided the body does not become an issue and the foot speed does not significantly decrease in coming years. If the body and speed were to force him off the grass, the hope is that the power production will be plenty to play at first. It’s worth noting, as well, that Tomas is young enough to tighten his physique and push his athleticism a step forward, though a significant transformation should not be relied upon.
While a brief stint in Triple-A might help with the transition, Arizona is far from flush with impact talent in the outfield. Tomas, even with the inherent unknowns in the profile, might be the best Opening Day right field option for the Snakes. It’s a bold move, but for a Diamondbacks club looking to get back some swagger after a disastrous 2014, you could do worse than adding a potential 25-homer bat to the middle of an order that currently relies on Mark Trumbo, Miguel Montero, and David Peralta. As an added bonus, Tomas and his boom stick will join Trumbo as another bit of loud right-handed lumber, providing further left-right balance to that group.
This is a higher risk investment than the likes of Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, or Jose Abreu, with Tomas carrying fewer tools than the former duo and less physicality than the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year. But with the price of power at a premium in today’s game and options for acquisitions limited, the Diamondbacks should be applauded for aggressively addressing the club’s underwhelming offensive performance. Even shy of his upside Tomas could provide a sturdy .260 average and .200 ISO, leaving his on-base ability the likely determinant as to whether the bat pushes the profile to above average (around a 100-point OBP delta required) or closer to replacement level (around a 40-point OBP delta). —Nick J. Faleris
Sure, when the Padres and Giants are among the "final four" teams for Tomas' services, landing in the desert is great for his fantasy prospects, but he's not the type of hitter who needs a friendly ballpark to put up numbers. When Tomas connects, it's not often a cheap shot—the question is how often he will connect. No one is ever going to mistake him for a batting champion, but even a .260 average should allow Tomas to carry strong OF3 value in mixed leagues—as he can replicate what Lucas Duda did in 2014. Of course, whether that version shows up in 2015 is a huge question. Points and OBP leaguers should be more bearish on Tomas, but in standard 5×5 leagues, the 24-year-old will enter January as the projected no. 1 pick in dynasty drafts—though that's as much due to the weakness of the top tier 2014 draftees as it is to Tomas himself.
Those in redraft leagues should tread somewhat cautiously with Tomas, as he's both younger and more raw than some of the more established Serie Nacional players who have come to the United States recently. That said, he should be drafted in all mixed leagues this March, especially if it's toward the endgame of shallower formats, because the ceiling is higher than those who will be drafted around him. Unfortunately for the bargain hunters, he's likely to be valued at a premium based on recent Cuban success and the home park. In dynasty formats, he should be treated as the equivalent of a top-20 prospect who is expected to contribute in 2015. In other words, be excited about his future, but don't expect his peak immediately.
Ender Inciarte/David Peralta
One of these two left-handed hitting outfielders will end up losing his job to Tomas, but they'll both lose value in this proposition. Fortunately, owners likely weren't counting on major contributions from either of them—Inciarte is a 25-30 steal threat as the strong side of a platoon without much value anywhere else, and Peralta is a little bit of everything guy whose parts still don't add up to an appetizing sum. Assuming they are both still competing for a job in the spring, the winner will have minimal mixed league relevance, and the loser will be relegated to NL-only endgame pick. —Bret Sayre
Nick J. Faleris is a practicing structured finance attorney and Sports Industry team member in the Milwaukee office of Foley & Lardner LLP. The views he expresses at Baseball Prospectus are his own, and not necessarily those of the law firm.
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