This is part of the reason I have such a hard time evaluating Latin American prospects. It’s why I wasn’t high on Roberto de la Cruz last year as well. These players simply aren’t vetted as well and the records in Latin America are not on the same plane as those for North American players.
Wagner Mateo — the 16-year-old outfielder who signed a $3.1 million bonus, the most ever given to an amateur Latin American position player — is having vision problems that may affect his contract status with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to several Latin American baseball sources.
I can’t get worked up on this one way or the other and we should let the Cardinals vet the situation because, frankly, we don’t know what’s going on.
erik update: Per Jorge Aranguare of ESPN.com, Wagner’s agent says it’s a just a problem he had with some contacts. The Cardinals suspect it’s a degenerative condition that could greatly hinder his playing ability and are awaiting test results. More will be unfolding, I’m sure. The Cardinals can recoup the bonus if it is a pre-existing condition.