What can fans expect from newest Dodgers prospect Yaisel Sierra?
The Dodgers shocked the baseball world on Tuesday when it was reported that they had signed 24-year-old Cuban starter, Yaisel Sierra, to a six-year deal worth $30 million. No, it wasn't surprising because of the money (of which the team seemingly has a Scrooge McDuck-like bunker under Dodger Stadium), but because he was right-handed. On a team that seemingly decided that they wanted a bulk discount at Ned Flanders' Leftorium, this does stand as a shock.
But what should fans actually expect? Given that he defected from Cuba and didn't play in 2015, we only have a few years of Cuban stats and a handful of videos from the workouts he gave teams to go from, it's hard to know how excited to get. After all, Sierra had a 6.10 ERA in 62 innings with Sabuesos de Holguin in 2014.
Well, forget about that. Because as MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez points out, Sierra's fastball sits at 92-94 and has touched 96 in his recent workouts. With reports of a wipeout slider and developing changeup, Sierra may have the best stuff among Cuban prospects, even though he has yet to see the results.
While Sierra struggles with command, walking five batters per nine while in Cuba, making him a risky choice, he is also known to use a variety of arm angles similar to fellow Cuban righty, Raisel Iglesias. It's too early to say, but the Dodgers brass may decide to hammer out those tricks to help with his control, or perhaps it's a way for him to deceive batters, much like Iglesias did this past year.
Beyond what he has right now, his lanky frame is also the kind of thing a team can dream on in the future, even if he's not ready to contribute in 2016. For now, Dodgers fans can dream of that fastball and just watch his delivery on repeat.