"The opportunity to find a power bat like Tomas does not come along very often and we are extremely excited for him to join the D-backs," said Stewart. "Having had the opportunity to see him play, both in the World Baseball Classic and during recent workouts in the Dominican Republic, we believe that he can have a real impact on our lineup in the years to come."
The Havana native most recently appeared in 6 games during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, batting .375 (6-for-16) with 2 homers, 5 RBI and a 1.224 OPS. Baseball America tabbed him as the sixth-best non-MLB player in the tournament. He debuted in the Cuban Serie Nacional at age 18 and played 5 seasons for the Industriales, slugging 30 homers and 104 RBI with 15 stolen bases in 205 regular season games dating back to 2008. During his professional career, he has played outfield, third base and first base.
"My dream has always been to play with the best players in the world and that's in Major League Baseball," said Tomas. "I have a lot of respect for the Diamondbacks and enjoyed meeting Dave Stewart and De Jon Watson during my recent workouts. I have great expectations for my career and cannot wait to join the team and start my big league career." Tomas, 24, will become the 10th Cuban to play for the D-backs and first since 2011, when Juan Miranda and Alberto Castillo appeared for the National League West Division champions. Miranda appeared in 65 games for Arizona, the most among all Cuba-born players in franchise history.
Over the past 5 seasons in the Major Leagues (2010-14), 20 Cuban players have appeared in 80 or more big leagues games and of those players, 10 have either been named to an All-Star Game -- Alexei Ramirez (2014), Yoenis Cespedes (2014), Aroldis Chapman (2012-14), Yasiel Puig (2014), Jose Abreu (2014), Livan Hernandez (2004-05), Jose Contreras (2006) and Danys Baez (2005) - or received votes for their league's Most Valuable Player Award (Yunel Escobar and Kendrys Morales in 2009).