This has been an incredibly busy year for Cuban defectors, so this 21-year-old sometimes got lost in the shuffle, but he is very interesting prospect. Born April 3, 1993, Andy Ibanez (no relation to former Yankee and Voldermort impersonator, Raul Ibanez) is a right-handed, 5’11, 183 lbs. second baseman. Before his defection, Ibanez was ranked as the eighth-best prospect in Cuba by Baseball America. Despite his young age, Ibanez is a Gold Glove winning, three-year veteran of the Serie Nacional Professional Baseball League (Cuba’s highest professional league).
Statistics for Ibanez’s time in Cuba are hard to find, though in three years in Cuba from 2011-13, he hit .283/.348/.419 with 60 doubles and 13 homers in 242 games. Unlike some other Cuban prospects like Yoan Moncada, the scouting reports on Ibanez are few and far between. The scant scouting reports that are around state that Ibanez does not possess a single standout tool. At the same time, he does not have any glaring weaknesses or below average skills. Ibanez’s main strength is that he is capable of getting the best out of his present abilities.
Since Ibanez has fewer than five years of service time and is only twenty-one, he is subject to the international bonus pool. He has also yet to establish residency in another nation so it may be a while before he is declared by the MLB, eligible to sign with a team. Andy Ibanez could be an interesting prospect, but there is so little information that it might be best to pass on him. This is especially true if the market for his services follows the trend set by other Cuban defectors.