Interest in Lazarito intensifying ahead of showcase

Interest in Lazarito intensifying ahead of showcase

With the new year quickly approaching, it's never too early to look toward the future.

For 16-year-old Cuban prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango -- known simply as "Lazarito" in international baseball circles -- the next step toward what everyone expects to be a grand future is nearing.

All about Lazarito Armenteros

Armenteros, an outfielder, will hold a showcase on Jan. 8 in the Dominican Republic, as MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweeted in November. Armenteros, who is 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, is likely best suited for a corner-outfield spot and is highly regarded by scouts.

"He's a great-looking kid with lots of tools, size, strength and potential," one American League scouting director said. "He is a front-line guy."

It's not just Major League teams that are interested in Armenteros. A Japanese team is willing to pay him $15 million to play in Nippon Professional Baseball, according to a report by USA Today earlier this week. But as Armenteros told MLB.com in September, he's intent on signing with a Major League club.

"My goal is to sign with a team and make it to the Major Leagues one day," Armenteros said in Spanish from his home in Haiti. "I'm confident I can make that happen. Make an impact. I'm working hard every day to reach that goal."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.