There's been a bit of talk here lately about a kid in the Dominican Republic that the Cardinals may be interested in, by the name of Wagner Mateo. Just turned 16, plays center field (though he's probably more of a right fielder down the line), has all the tools, probable Hall of Famer, you know the drill on the international kids.
Derrick Goold had a really great piece on the kid just the other day, along with some video of him. Personally, watching the video, I found myself getting really, really excited about the guy. You don't really get to see a whole lot of him, in terms of his athleticism and all (though he does make a couple of pretty nice throws from center), but what jumped out at me was his swing. The guy has just a beautiful swing from the left side, with outstanding balance, leverage, and a nice load that isn't exaggerated. Some might not like the leg kick, but that doesn't bother me at all. As long as a player isn't landing awkwardly and having to adjust after his kick, I think it actually helps guys to stay back and not get out on the front foot. That swing alone could carry a guy a long, long way in pro ball.
My favorite part of the video, though, is the whole thing is set to the old This Week in Baseball theme, the one that sounds like something dug out of a box in the basement of a PBS station that went defunct in the late seventies. It's bloody brilliant, I tell you.
I don't care what it costs, Cardinals. The kid's got a beautiful swing, a really cool name, and if you're smart, the best walkup song in baseball already. Get the deal done.
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