It seems as though every few months there's a new teenage international prospect on the rise who teams simply cannot live without. While these players are all talented, the volume of fervor and drool from teams and fans in the U.S. who receive word of their exploits is always entertaining. Meanwhile, the players in question, like Lazaro "Lazarito" Robersy Armenteros Arango, are living in less than ideal conditions as they attempt to go through the complicated, at times horrific, process of getting here.
Armenteros, a 16-year-old corner outfielder with highly touted power and speed, is so good (and also so not cleared to sign by the league) people can't even legally talk about him. Anonymous baseball scouting directors told USA Today's Bob Nightengale their thoughts on the teenager, believing his "superstar potential" is through the roof, whatever that means to you.
The young outfielder already has a reported offer on the table to play in Japan for $15 million, but now MLB teams will vie for the chance to bring Armenteros to the U.S., where any showboating or trace of personality will be smothered by old men who think every baseball player should be Alan Trammell.
The Phillies will take a gander at Armenteros on January 8 as they keep trying to acquire young talent. With them will be representatives from baseball's other 29 teams, but the Phillies will be the only team that arrives with one ambassador pushing another in a wheelbarrow full of cash, having the most money to throw around. No team has had the chance to scout Armenteros since late summer 2014 at the Baseball World Cup in Mexico for players 15 and under, where he shocked reporters by not knowing who their favorite player was.
"When asked if he'd consider himself the Bryce Harper of Cuba, the comparison meant nothing to him. Armenteros doesn't know who the Nationals slugger is."
"Lazarito" himself offered a 73-second preview (seen above) on Christmas of what people can expect to see in a little over a week.