Reds: Dick Williams on Luis Robert

I recently asked the Reds GM about interest in 19-year old Cuban OF Luis Robert. on Luis Robert:  The top prospect in Cuba is one step closer to fulfilling his big league dream. Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert, 19, was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball on Thursday, according to a source. He will be eligible to sign with a big league club on May 20.

ESPN: Major League Baseball informed its 30 clubs Thursday that Luis Robert is not subject to the June first-year player draft, thereby clearing the way for the Cuban outfield prospect to pursue a job with an MLB team as a free agent, two sources confirmed to

Scouting report: Robert has the talent of a first-round pick if he were in the draft. After he signs, he should be ready for an assignment to a low or high Class A affiliate. He has a strong, lean frame at 6-foot-3 with broad shoulders, a wide back and quick-twitch athleticism. A righthanded hitter with excellent bat speed and a sound swing, Robert has plus power with room to continue filling out and increase that in the future.

5 favorites to sign Robert,  Cincinnati signed two Cuban players -- shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez for $7 million and pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez for $4.75 million -- during the current international signing period, and the Reds have emerged as one of the most active teams on the international market in recent years. Including penalties, the club has committed close to $20 million on more than 20 international prospects since July 2, and it has shown it will invest in what it believes is the right player for the organization. That said, Cincinnati knows Robert is a high-profile player and is not sure it would win a bidding war.