Should Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa be on the San Diego Padres’ radar? The Friars surely love high-ceiling prospects, and this young player would immediately be regarded as a top prospect in all of major league baseball. Let us explore the idea.
In recent days, news broke out of Cuba that Victor Victor Mesa (21) and his younger brother Victor Mesa Jr. (16) have left the country in hopes of a future in the major leagues. That is great news for Major League Baseball, as they both have a great skill set and should eventually progress far in the game.
The Mesa brothers come from a fine pedigree of baseball in Cuba. Their father, Victor Mesa Sr., was one of the biggest stars in all of Cuban baseball. The elder Mesa was a center fielder and utilized his speed to excel above the rest in the Serie Nacional. In recent years, he has managed both Team Cuba and Team Mexico in world tournaments, and done so successfully.
Victor Victor Mesa is a toolsy outfielder with a dynamic throwing arm and top-grade speed. He is presently regarded as a 70 grade at both throwing and running. His younger brother is a switch-hitting outfielder who probably will not be eligible this July. The 16-year-old has nice tools, but is not as polished as his older brother. His day will come, but for now, teams are focused on the elder of the two siblings. The younger Mesa probably will not be cleared in this particular period anyways.
The Padres should have interest in Victor Victor Mesa. He is very good defensively, and most reports say that he should be able to slide into High Single-A or Double-A baseball immediately. He has shown an ability to hit top pitching in various tournaments where he has previous played. Some indicate that the outfielder would be ranked somewhere around the #50 mark in terms of minor league prospects. That could be a little generous, but that really depends on how you view his skill set.
The right-handed hitter put up a slash line of .354/.399/.539 (.939 OPS) in 70 games for Mantazas of the Serie Nacional in 2016. Last year, he split the season between two teams and was not as productive, recording a .237/.341/.303 with the Industrales of the Serie Nacional and a .214/.275/.286 batting line for Team Cuba in the CAA (Canadian-American Association). The 21-year-old is raw, but the numbers from 2016 are very enticing to major league teams.
The numbers he put up since the age of 16 are at the highest level of Cuban baseball. He’s received over 1,000 at-bats in that time, recording a .275/.334/.378 slash line. You have to remember that some of those at-bats were as a teenager against players who were literally twice his age. Mesa usually puts the ball in play. He only struck out 19 times and stole 40 bases in 2016, displaying a short, quick stroke. He plays the game with flare and is an exciting player to watch on the baseball diamond. There is potential. Whether or not he is able to tap into the potential is anybody’s guess.
July 2, 2018 is when the new international signing period opens. Several teams have $5-6 million to spend on players on the open market. The Padres’ penalty period for spending nearly $80 million in the 2016-17 period is still valid for one more year. They may acquire money from other teams, but are limited to $300,000 in spending this period. Mesa would probably want top dollar, but the Padres could still be in the mix. Especially if he is not eligible this period, which is still possible.
Take a look at this video and you get a sense of what Mesa brings to the table.
A.J. Preller loves Latin talent and Mesa provides plenty of skill to a baseball team. He is not a “for sure” thing, but not many players are in this day and age of the game. Mesa is polished for a minor leaguer and should be able to contribute relatively soon.
The problem is, the Padres are currently stacked in the outfield position. Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Franmil Reyes are all ready to contribute now, and behind them in the system are names like Edward Olivares, Buddy Reed, Jorge Ona, Tirso Ornelas, and Jeisson Rosario. Adding a young outfielder like Mesa doesn’t exactly fit a need for the team.
At the same time, there is nothing wrong with competition. If Victor Victor Mesa can be a productive major leaguer and the team has a chance to secure him, then they should. Chris Kemp, the international scouting director, and his staff, are well aware of who Mesa is. We will just have to wait and see what their ultimate evaluation is of him and if they deem him worth the gamble.
He must first be eligible to sign, which could be beyond July 2 and when the market opens. There is paperwork and such that needs to be worked out, but the odds are that the elder Mesa sibling will indeed be eligible to sign with a major league team this summer. The hype is real, as he is a pure athlete. Can the Padres lure him to San Diego?
Take a look at this video displaying his power potential and the energy he brings to a team.
Cuban OF prospect Victor Victor Mesa (@victorvmesa), 21, will be one of top prospects in baseball when he signs. Victor Victor just left Cuba in search of signing with major-league team. Last season in Cuba, he hit .354/.399/.539 over 70 games with 27 XBH & 40 SB. pic.twitter.com/CODR1qV0HM
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) May 17, 2018
Even if Victor Victor Mesa is not on the Padres’ radar, they are surely eyeing some young talent on the international market. There will be some signings in the coming months. We will do our best to keep you informed on all the international signings as they come in.