There are very few people in any organization who can claim that they were signed at just 16 years old. Most teams are looking for college athletes or high school graduates. Those players are a bit bigger, a bit more experienced, and a bit easier to analyze. It is difficult for a person at such a young age to get signed. Only the kids who seem to have a ton of potential get the taste of playing minor league baseball at the age of 16. The New York Mets saw that in a young Wilfredo Tovar.
Wilfredo Jose Tovar Soto was born on August 11, 1991 in Santa Teresa del Tuy, Venezuela. At this time, it was already very difficult for baseball players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Cuba to be scouted by an MLB team. Somehow, the Mets still found a 16-year-old Wilfredo Tovar in Venezuela, and they decided that they liked this kid enough to sign him in 2008. He started in the Mets minor league system, spending almost six years working his way from the Venezuelan League to AA. By the time that the Mets promoted Tovar in 2013 to the MLB, he was 22 years old. He made his MLB debut on September 22, in which he recorded his first major league hit and first major league RBIs. When Ruben Tejada returned to the Mets after a DL stint, Tovar was sent back down to AA, where he finished the season.
Tovar didn’t see a lot more of the majors after this first appearance. A string of bad luck came his way. In 2015, he had a very good season with the Las Vegas 51s, his best season with any A-AAA affiliate. Unfortunately, a season-ending shoulder injury hurt more than just his arm. On November 6, he was outrighted off of the Mets 40-man roster. Tovar then went to the Minnesota Twins for a year, but found no luck in returning to the majors. Then, he signed with the Cardinals and was given an invite to Spring Training in 2016. This season, he is hitting .287 with 4 home runs and 40 RBI, his second year in AAA Memphis. Wilfredo has gotten a taste of the MLB, and like most who get sent back down, he is eagerly awaiting his next chance at the MLB. With rosters expanding in September, he may get this second chance soon.