Star Cuban pitcher defects during tournament; Next stop: MLB?
A highly regarded Cuban pitching prospect has defected from the national team while playing in a tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His next stop could be in the major leagues, possibly with the New York Yankees.
Aroldis Chapman, whose age was reported to be 21 years old, walked out of his hotel room in Rotterdam and did not return, a spokesman for the Dutch baseball team said Friday. Chapman told cubaencuentro.com he was in Europe, but refused to reveal his location.
Chapman, whose fastball reportedly exceeds 100 mph, is widely considered the No. 1 pitching prospect in Cuba. The
Chapman pitched for Cuba during the World Baseball Classic in March, where he posted a 5.68 ERA in 6 1/3 innings. Reports during that tournament listed Chapman's age as 26.
In an interview with the
"He throws at a 100 miles per hour, he is more polished than most young pitchers at his age," González Echevarría told the Times. "He is a really hot property, and it will be interesting to see how much teams pay to sign him."