PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks, @LosDbacks) have agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with Cuban right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez, as announced by D-backs Sr. Vice President & General Manager Dave Stewart.
"Yoan is a good looking young starter with good upside potential," said De Jon Watson, D-backs Sr. Vice President, Baseball Operations. "His delivery and arm work very well. He features a plus fastball and slider, and his curveball has good shape and depth and should play average. The change-up has a chance to have swing-and-miss value down the road. We are excited to add another quality arm to the organization."
Lopez, 21, played 3 seasons for Isla de la Juventud in Cuba's Serie Nacional de Beisbol from 2011-14. In 47 games (39 starts), he went 15-13 (.536) with a 3.76 ERA (106 R-97 ER in 232.0 IP), .274 opponents average (235-for-857) and 117 strikeouts.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder is the second Cuban signing by the D-backs this offseason after inking third baseman/outfielder Yasmany Tomas to a 6-year contract on Dec. 8, 2014. Arizona has boasted 6 Cuban-born players in its club history: Eddie Oropesa (79 games), Juan Miranda (65), Livan Hernandez (45), Vladimir Nunez (31), Alberto Castillo (17) and Orlando Hernandez (9).
Over the past 5 seasons in the Major Leagues (2010-14), 20 Cuban players have appeared in 80 or more big leagues games and of those players, 10 have either been named to an All-Star Game or received votes for their league's Most Valuable Player Award -- Alexei Ramirez (2014), Yoenis Cespedes (2014), Aroldis Chapman (2012-14), Yasiel Puig (2014), Jose Abreu (2014), Livan Hernandez (2004-05), Jose Contreras (2006) and Danys Baez (2005) Yunel Escobar (2009) and Kendrys Morales (2009).