Well, the Atlanta Hawks were not the only ones wheeling and dealing this past week. The Atlanta Braves signed 16-year-old Venezuelan infielder, Kevin Maitan. Reportedly, according to scouts that have seen Maitan play the most, say there is no weakness in his game. That is a lot seeing that Maitan has drawn attention of major league scouts since he was the ripe young age of 13. Yes, you did read that right, 13 years old. According to multiple media outlets and sources, the 16-year-old signed for $4.25 million.
Standing in at 6’2 and 175 pounds, Maitan is a big kid for his age. He is a switch hitter that can hit for contact and power. Maitan also posses great speed, as Atlanta Braves international scout Gordon Blakeley. said, “he’s a 6.6 runner in the 60 ( yard dash), so he can run.” Blakeley also added, ” he can hit a ball out of a big league park now. He’s got good hands. He’s probably gonna end up 6’3 215.” When asked about a comparison for Maitan, Blakeley compared him to one of, if not the greatest Brave of all time. “My comparison when I talked with our people was Chipper Jones.” That is a lot coming from Blakeley, who is noted as one of the best international scouts. Though Maitan is at short stop at the moment, many believe he will move to third base later on in his development.
So how does a switch hitting third basemen that posses plus contact and power, burning speed, and a great defensive prowess sound to you? Kind of sounds like Chipper Jones to many Braves fans, and if Maitan does indeed turn out to be the next Chipper Jones (which will be one of the toughest task in the history of baseball), get ready Braves fans to return to the glory days of the 90’s and early 2000s.