B/R Exclusive Video: Meet Lazarito, the 17-Year-Old 'Cuban Bryce Harper'

BR StudiosFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2016

They call him the Cuban Bryce Harper, comparing his speed to Willie Mays and his power to Bo Jackson, but lofty comparisons aside, the Lazarito story is anything but easy.

At the age of 14, Lazaro Armenteros Jr., better known by his nickname Lazarito, was a budding star in the Cuban baseball ranks.

Unparalleled power and speed were his ticket to Cuba's professional ranks and baseball stardom. But unbeknownst to Lazarito and his family, the superstar was banned from Cuban baseball without explanation.

There are conflicting reports as to why he received the punishment—some say it was political, some say it was a schoolyard incident, and others say it was to prevent Lazarito from defecting.

Regardless, baseball was taken away from the youngster, and he thought about leaving the game he loved altogether.

Yet after consulting with his family and investors, Lazarito took matters into his own hands. Three defection attempts and seven countries later, a 16-year-old Lazarito found himself in the Dominican Republic ranked as one of the top international prospects in the world and the envy of 30 major league baseball teams.

He recently signed with the Oakland Athletics and is looking to turn heads in America soon.

Watch this rare, exclusive video of the Cuban star and hear from him directly about his journey to future stardom.