Hechavarria earns promotion to Las Vegas

Hechavarria earns promotion to Las Vegas

Hechavarria earns promotion to Las Vegas
TORONTO -- Adeiny Hechavarria took another step closer to the Major Leagues on Thursday when he was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Hechavarria spent parts of the past two seasons playing for Double-A New Hampshire. The 22-year-old shortstop entered the year as the club's No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com.

"I know during Spring Training the conversation that surrounded his overall plan was to get him some exposure at Triple-A," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

"We wanted to get him against some older veteran pitching before this year was out."

Hechavarria was signed by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent on April 13, 2010. He received a four-year contract worth $10 million and is considered Toronto's best defensive player in the Minors.

The native of Cuba has continued to show improvement with his Gold Glove-caliber defense. According to the club reports, Hechavarria has become more consistent with his arm-slot angle and as a result, his throws across the infield have become more accurate.

Hechavarria still hasn't enjoyed much success at the plate, though. He hit .235 with six home runs and 46 RBIs in 111 games with the Fisher Cats this season.

Despite the subpar numbers, Farrell is optimistic the young infielder will eventually live up to his offensive potential.

"There's a belief that there is that hit ability in there," Farrell said.

"I know there has been inconsistent approach and plan at the plate with him throughout the course of the season. But, still, there is an overall feeling that he has an ability to hit, and hit for average, before it's all said and done."

The contract Hechavarria signed with the Blue Jays stipulated he had to be placed on the 40-man roster. Major League service time still applies and he will remain under club control following his four seasons in the organization but the Blue Jays have already used two of his three option years.

Hechavarria could be sent back to the Minors again in 2012, but if that happens he would then have to be placed on the 25-man active roster the following season, or risk being lost through waivers.

That could potentially force the organization to speed up his transition time to the Majors. It still seems somewhat unlikely but that could happen as soon as September.

"He has been talked about, yeah, but whether he is a September callup remains to be determined," Farrell said.

"We have had some discussions on a potential group of guys that would return but that hasn't been finalized."