Over the weekend Cuban superstar Yulieski Gourriel signed with the Houston Astros. This 32 year old infielder has had Twitter buzzing for a few weeks now as he worked out for multiple major league teams. We ask the question, who is Yulieski Gourriel?
Yulieski Gourriel is from Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Gourriel, which sometimes is spelled Gurriel for some reason, is 6'0, 196 lbs, bats and throws right and can play second or third base. He has played professionally since he was 17 or since 2001. Over that time he has played in 925 games, 5,491 plate appearances, 974 runs, 1585 hits, 250 home runs, 1,018 RBIs, 121 stolen bases, 611 walks and a career slash line of .335/.417/.580. For reference purposes we can compare his slash line to Chicago White Sox player Jose Abreu while in Cuba, .341/.456/.622.
Now that Gourriel is signed he will likely report to either Triple-A or Double-A for Houston and spend around a month before we see him in the big leagues. With Altuve already cemented in as the every day second baseman for the Astros it is anticipated that Gourriel will play third base when he arrives in the big leagues. Expectations will be high as he is the biggest Cuban born star to come to the majors in years, but temper your enthusiasm as it's important to recognize that he is 32 years old and has had a layoff from facing competitive pitching. With that being said, he is a great late season speculative add in just about any fantasy league and could payoff big time if he lives up to the hype.