Mexican Left-Hander Efren Delgado
I was surfing the 2016 Winter League stats this morning, and one player who jumped out at me was 22 year old Mexican lefty Efren Delgado. After a break-through 2016 in the regular season Mexican League, he’s again one of the top pitchers in the Mexican Pacific League, Mexico’s winter league.
What Delgado has going from him is that he’s young (he turned 22 only about a month ago) and he’s got strikeout stuff. His strikeout rates aren’t overwhelming, but they are just fine for a player his age pitching effectively in the Mexican leagues.
Mexican League teams demand hefty buy-outs to sell their young stars to MLB teams, most likely at least $1 million to sell the rights of Delgado. While that is hardly outrageous for young talent, it’s enough that MLB organizations won’t shell it out unless they really think Delgado is worth it.
Going into his age 22 season, it would certainly be a good time to acquire his rights and send him off to AA ball to see what he can do against a level of competition that is roughly equal to the Mexican summer league, but that is both more talented and less experienced. On the other hand, MLB teams may also be willing to wait another year to see if he pitches as well in the Mexican League in 2017 as he did last season. Still, players going into their age 22 season who have a proven record of success in what amounts to the high minors (AA or above) don’t grow on trees, so I’d like to see him join the MLB system sooner rather than later.