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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

Fantasy Impact

Yasmani Tomas

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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faztradamus
11/27
Bret, you wrote on TDG that A.J. Pollock is a sleeper/buy candidate for 2015. Does Tomas' inclusion in the ARI outfield impact Pollock's value either positively or negatively? Happy Thanksgiving!
bretsayre
11/27
Absolutely not in a negative way. In fact, you could argue that the Diamondbacks need his defense even more with Tomas and Trumbo potentially flanking him in the corners. He's going to get quite a workout, and I do like Pollock as a good value this season. You too!
joshb729
11/27
I'm very bearish on Yasmani Tomas. His Cuban League BB/K ratio is dreadful when you compare it to successful Cubans ilke Puig, Cespedes, and Abreu. I just don't think someone who strikes out 20% against that caliber of pitching is going to come into the majors and be successful. Chris Carter-lite with much less walks .230/.285, 25 HR ceiling. Only fantasy worthy towards the second half of the draft and a complete dud in real life value.
bretsayre
11/27
Not sure where you're getting your numbers from, but if you're going to look at Serie Nacional numbers, might as well make it apples to apples. Strikeout rates through their age-22 seasons in Serie Nacional: Cespedes - 14.6% Puig - 15.3% Tomas - 17.8% Abreu - 21.3%
joshb729
11/27
Bret, that's a pretty meaty cherry pick you just pulled off right there. #1 Why did you choose age 22? Why not include 23 where Tomas continued his lousy K:BB ratio and Abreu made strong growth in that area or is there some excuse for that season like everybody has for this past season when he stunk? #2 Tomas' number is actually 18.7% through those Age 22 seasons, minor quibble. #3 Abreu turning the corner does not mean Tomas is turning the corner. In Abreu's last 4 seasons before coming here he has 178 K and 165 UIBB in 1416 PA (removing IBBs), 12.5% K rate, 11.6% UIBB. In Tomas' 4 seasons in Cuba, he had 965 PAs (removing IBBs) with 185 K (19.2%) and 57 UIBB (5.9%), by far the worst of all the successful Cubans who have come here. Yes Tomas is relatively younger but that doesn't change the fact that he's yet to take that step. Just because Abreu did it doesn't mean Tomas is going to do it. If I've learned anything about prospects, they are prospects until they do something. To me Tomas is still a prospect and at age 24, he's a prospect that carries quite a bit of risk. I'm selling.
bretsayre
11/27
Well, if we're numbering things, I'm game: 1) I used those numbers because 2013 was the most recent season updated on Clay's site. I didn't do any more digging because not only are Cuban stats inaccurate but their relevance is highly overstated. 2) Sure, Tomas won't have a great walk rate. He likes to swing. This is OK. Unless you're in an OBP or points league, don't lose too much sleep over it. 3) I always enjoy a good straw man. Tomas is not nearly as good of a hitter as Abreu, nor do I think he will take "that step" towards being as good as Abreu. You simply made the point that no one with a 20% strikeout rate in Serie Nacional could be successful in MLB and that happened to be Abreu's rate through Tomas' age. 4) Happy Thanksgiving.
joshb729
11/27
"You simply made the point that no one with a 20% strikeout rate in Serie Nacional could be successful in MLB and that happened to be Abreu's rate through Tomas' age." You're still missing my point. I don't believe Abreu would have been as nearly as successful coming into the league 4 years ago as he was last year. He refined his craft in Cuba and dominated the league before he came here. IMO, he was no longer a prospect when the White Sox signed him, he was a refined player. Tomas to me, is still a prospect and prospects carry risk. Abreu was a steady 12% K/11% BB over a large sample before he came to the majors and had a 21%/8% this past year. Without refining his approach there's a very real possibility that Tomas will be a high 20%, even 30% strikeout guy when he first comes into the league. That's the recipe for a batting average around .220, not the .260 that's been thrown around, add in a lack of plate discipline and at-best, fringey defense, I see a very marginal major league baseball player. This implication that you are trying to make that "Abreu was bad those same youth years and got it going" is a very weak and meaningless argument. Abreu is an exception, not the rule. For every guy who significantly improves their contact/plate discipline skills from age 24 on, I can probably show you atleast a couple dozen that didn't and Tomas is going to need to significantly improve in this area if he's going to succeed in the majors.
TheArtfulDodger
11/27
It sure is tough to argue with what you believe about a fictional history for Abreu. Credit Bret for trying, at least.
joshb729
11/27
Craig, So you are convinced Abreu's Cuban stats are made up?
TheArtfulDodger
11/28
No, but your belief over whether he would have been as successful if he came over at 23 years old is inarguable because it didn't happen, and so if I believe otherwise, we're stuck it conjecture on both sides. It's a useless avenue but what you claimed "the point" was. I don't believe Tomas is the next Abreu, but that's also not what Bret was saying at pretty much any point.
joshb729
11/28
I don't think it's a stretch to say Abreu significantly developed as a hitter from 23-27. I guess there's nothing left to argue. I just think the suggestion that Tomas is going to hit anywhere near .260 is absurd and not grounded in logic. I see a .220-.230 hitter at best. We can agree to disagree.
therealn0d
11/28
Are you meaning to say that Tomas is never going to progress beyond .230? You seem to be hinting that Tomas would be better off learning to hit Major League pitching by playing a few more years in Cuba, which I don't think is grounded in logic. We're not looking at a Wily Mo Pena type situation, here.
joshb729
11/28
It's possible. He could, he could not. Some guys do, many do not. To me he's still a prospect and a huge risk. Not many guys get a whole lot better after 24. We have no idea what we're looking at. People are speaking about Tomas like he's some slam dunk major leaguer and as of right now, I don't see him anywhere near the class of Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu. I feel like many FO's agree with me because a couple months ago with the hype he was receiving, he wasn't supposed easily eclipse Rusney's price tag. This would have been chump change for the Yankees or Red Sox but they didn't like what they saw.
therealn0d
11/28
I don't recall reading anywhere anyone speaking or writing about Tomas being a slam dunk. In fact, the talk around the D'backs internet watercooler is that he simply makes Trumbo redundant, in that he is just a younger version of the same...upside. I haven't read anyone going ball's out for the guy. As for not many guys getting better after 24...have you looked at aging patterns? Granted, there isn't much evidence to examine regarding Cuban imports, but youngish baseball players are youngish baseball players from wherever they are. Tomas doesn't really fit in the Cespedes, Puig, Abreu as he's younger than all of them as he enters the league. And he also has time to get some coaching at that younger age. As for the Red Sox and Yankees, Boston already went on their spending spree, and the Yankees are doing something else right now, so that is basically a not relevant. I don't think a move like this would make any sense for either of them at this point. Other GMs were vying for his services, however.
Dodger300
11/29
You wrote:"Tomas doesn't really fit in the Cespedes, Puig, Abreu as he's younger than all of them as he enters the league. " Correction: Puig was 22 when he debuted with the Dodgers. Tomas is already 24.
therealn0d
11/29
Oops, my bad. Good news for Puig, though.
TheArtfulDodger
11/29
The thing is that we don't disagree. You are just reading things really weirdly. No one is disagreeing that he developed significantly in that timeframe. Not one person said it until you did. You then implied I said it and disagreed. This is a strawman. Arguing that it's not grounded in logic is ridiculous. There's been plenty of logic stated. You infer something different than others have - which is totally fine! But acting like they're crazy is the weird part.
tonynelson19
11/27
He didn't completely avoid the Giants and Padres, as the Diamondbacks play a combined 19 games in San Francisco and San Diego next year. Still much better than 80+, though.
Shauntell
11/27
Wait, aren't both Peralta and Inciarte on the bench at this point? Tomas, Pollock and Trumbo are all going to get the bulk of the playing time.
bretsayre
11/27
That looks like the starting OF at this point, but whoever gets the 4th OF job may very well get 400 plate appearances anyway, and whoever doesn't will likely end up back in the minors. That battle matters for deep mixed and NL-only formats.
indianacardinal
11/27
I am not trying to be critical, but I am suprised that Goldschmidt is not mentioned once in the article, particularly in the reference to the middle of the order being Trumbo, Montero and Peralta. Otherwise, excellent information, as always. You guys do a great job providing information as all of the transactions take place. Thanks, and being a subscriber and getting to read all of the articles in the winter, when there is often otherwise not much baseball, is one of the many things for which I give Thanksgiving (to all of you).
lyricalkiller
11/27
To the first part, Nick wasn't listing every player in the middle of the order, but making a point about the caliber of mediocre hitter Arizona would otherwise be depending on to surround Goldschmidt.
Thaworth
11/27
I think it is a big reach. Does anyone know the 4+2 money split? Is it a backloaded contract?
NickFaleris
11/28
Yes, that's correct. Thanks, Sam. My inartfully expressed point was that those names were miscast as foundational talents in the middle of a competitive lineup, and that Tomas was a potential improvement to that collection.