A great big righthanded hitter (listed at 240 lbs., and looks it) who was born to DH, but signed with the wrong league. Canizares defected in 2006 and hasn’t done anything since but hit the baseball, putting up a career minor league line of .318/.376/.461. He’s listed at 29, but who knows how accurate that is; if it’s true, he was playing at the top level in Cuba when he was 18. It’s not impossible.
Canizares does hit the ball hard; his plate judgment isn’t great, but it’s not too bad. In his limited major league action so far, he hasn’t really connected yet, but everyone can just tell that if he does it could go a long way. He doesn’t quite resemble any Brave of recent vintage; I tend to think of him as similar to Rico Carty, another righthanded hitter who couldn’t run or field.
The fielding issues may have been exaggerated; he isn’t Kotchman at the first base bag, but from what I’ve seen so far he won’t kill you. I can’t prove it, but I believe that the only really important difference at first base is between the guy who can make routine plays and the guy who can’t, the guy below the Dick Stuart Line. My guess is that there aren’t enough potential good plays to make it worth going with an inferior hitter for defense. It’s not clear that Kotchman is actually an inferior hitter to Canizares, though Canizares, if he hits as projected, fits the team’s needs better… Canizares is slow, but is 3-3 in his minor league career in stolen bases, and has three triples. You probably don’t want him hitting fifth, as putting him directly after McCann could lead to epic numbers of double plays, though since he mostly hits the ball in the air it might not be too bad.