WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — One February afternoon, amid a lockout trudging through its third month, Yuli Gurriel’s kindred spirit sat on a folding chair beneath a tent. Most Americans cannot understand Gurriel’s gravitas in Cuba. One glimpse of Roilan Machandy offered an apt appreciation.
Machandy found his seat after finishing a workout at the Astros’ minor league minicamp. He is a 20-year-old outfielder with elite speed, a $250,000 signing bonus and a batting stance he stole from Gurriel. The Astros pounced on him prior to the 2019 international signing period.