This season, Arizona Diamondbacks minor leaguer Yasmany Tomás will be looking to finally get a legitimate shot at the big-leagues. Will he succeed?
Power hitter Yasmany Tomás was stuck in purgatory with the Reno Aces (AAA), a minor league team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a second straight year. Two years removed from a .272, 31 HR and 83 RBI season, his minor league assignment and removal from the 40 man roster in 2018 surprised many around baseball.
Although he swats a potent bat, the team felt his defense was subpar remanding him to the minors. But with the trade of Paul Goldschmidt in 2019, Tomás thought he was on his way back to the big show. That wasn’t the case for the Cuban slugger.
“I was hurt in 2017, I came to spring training in 2018 invigorated and was told I was winning my spot on the roster, but in the end, things didn’t go my way. Till this day I still don’t know why.”
His deficiencies in the outfield caused the native of Havana to spend 2018 in the minors.
Tomás had a decent year with the bat in the minors in 2018. Despite a lack of motivation, he still hit .262 with 14 home runs and 65 runs batted in.
About his experience back in the minors, Tomás said, “In the minors, I was shuttled around from the outfield to third and I finally settled at first base.”
Tomás seems to be very motivated this year to avoid going back to the minors and making an impact with the big club in 2020.
Tomás spent the off-season working on his defense and physique. With the new opportunity at hand, the perspective new first baseman wants to come into Spring Training in tip-top shape.
“I think I deserve a chance to compete for a roster spot. My first year I had decent numbers, in 2016 I had great numbers and in 2017 I had a good start before I got hurt. I have worked on every aspect of my game and lost a few pounds. I will be ready to compete in the spring. ”
Tomás averages .268 with 25 round-trippers and 87 RBI’s per 162 games, these are more than acceptable offensive numbers, but playing in a small market team like the Arizona Diamondbacks with a hefty contract like his has kept him off the 40 man roster in spite of his gaudy numbers in the minors.
He spent the entire 2018 off-season working out diligently and even won a title in the Dominican Winter League with the Oriental Stars in early 2019.
In 2019 the power hitter was a force in the Pacific Coast League with Reno. In 102 games, Tomás hit .301, went yard 29 times, drove in 82 runs and slashed .341/.590/.931.
This included a four-homer game and eight RBI game on May 20th of that year. The Cuban’s output that year earned him a trip to the league’s all-star game.
His play in 2019 earned him a call-up and although it was only for four games, the power-hitting righty was back in the big leagues. Although he was back in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system shortly after that he saw that with hard work he could once again be a big leaguer.
He once again kept himself in shape in the off-season playing with the Escogido Lions of the Dominican Winter League.
“My goal is to make the big club this year. Once again I’ve prepared properly in the off-season. I’m going to do my best to have a good spring and take advantage of my opportunities, that’s all I can control.”
Tomás will start the spring in 2020 as a non-roster invitee and has long odds of making the club in spite of his prowess with the bat.
“I haven’t been in the plans of our hierarchy for a while now. Thank God this is my last year under contract. Hopefully, they will trade me, because I know I’m a big leaguer.”
The 2013 World Baseball Classic was a coming-out party for Tomás. The then outfielder hit .375 with two homers, six runs batted and slashed .412/.813/1.224.
” It would be a dream of mine to return and play for Cuba. I will always be available for them if or when they call. One of my greatest sports memories was when I was with the national team in the 2013 Classic. My go-ahead hit against the Netherlands will always live in the back of my mind.”
When I asked him if he still follows the Serie Nacional and would like to someday return and play for Industriales (The Yankees of Cuba), he replied, “I watch games from time to time. I still have plenty of friends that I played with still on the team. I would love to return and play one day in Latinoamericano stadium, that will always be my house. Hopefully, one day in the near future will we have a winter league in Cuba where we can all return and play.”