It appears that the Los Angeles Dodgers were in attendance in Mexicali as international free agent Alexei Bell gave his showcase to Major League scouts on Monday. Not exactly earth-shattering that the team was there, but it is interesting considering Bell’s age.
The talented 5-foot-7 Cuban outfielder is already 32 years old, so whoever signs him is looking to inject him directly into their big league club for a couple years in order to maximize any potential return on investment that he might bring to the organization.
From Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) on Twitter:
Thirteen teams attended Alexei Bell’s showcase today in Mexicali, per a source: AZ, LAD, PHI, KC, TOR, SF, NYY, MIA, STL, OAK, BOS, SD, CIN.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 15, 2016
Last season in Canada, the pint sized Bell hit .317 with 2 home runs, 23 runs batted in, and stole 11 bases. During his entire professional career, Bell owns a .319/.414/.539 slash line in 718 games while slugging 140 home runs and stealing 132 bases. However, his age is a concern.
A scout for a major-league club offered a more restrained view, saying Bell performed brilliantly at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but is no longer the player he was then.
That’s totally understandable. He’s 32 years old now instead of being eight years younger. It happens. But with Bell you’re going to get an instant impact outfielder who won’t be subject to the international signing pool restrictions. He could come on over right now and play right field for a team.
If the Dodgers really wanted to get creative, they could sign Bell in the next little while and then bring him along in the minors as a left fielder to see if he’s able to adjust there. He shouldn’t cost a hefty sum at all, so it might be worth the shot in the dark even at his advanced age.
Bell does have a “plus arm” in the outfield, so putting him anywhere is fine since his arm will play. However, his age, size, and years could catch up with him in the field wherever he plays. Not to mention that his bat lacks the pop it once had. Still, the Dodgers are doing their due diligence, which is good.