Angel Pena and Yadier Batista Join the Long List of Escaped Cuban Baseball Players

The prominent former baseball player Ángel Peña left the Island to embark on the crossing like thousands of Cubans through Central America in order to reach the United States. (Cubadebate)wewew

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 October 2022 — The list of expatriate Cuban baseball players already forms a sports catastrophe. So far in October, the abandonments of retired pitcher Ángel Peña and left-handed pitcher Yadier Batista have been confirmed. These athletes join David Mena, Jefferson Delgado, Ciro Silvino Licea, Adriel Labrada, Juan Carlos Hernández, Sergio Pérez, Dismany Ortiz and Yunior Charadan, who left the Island in September.

Peña, according to journalist Francys Romero, left Cuba “in the late hours” for the United States going through “the Central American route,” the same one taken by Mena, Delgado, Licea and Labrada a few days ago.

People remember that the “Falcon of March 13,” as they call Peña, earned more than 1,027 strikeouts in the National Series. In 2013 this baseball player became the fourth pitcher in Sancti Spíritus to reach that mark in the category, beneath only Yovani Aragón (1,926), Roberto Ramos (1,151) and Maels Rodríguez (1,148), as published in Escambray.

In his career he won 132 games. In the beginning, he stood out as a U-15 and U-18 World Cup player in the 1990s, but little was known about this athlete until he decided to emigrate with his family, according to a comment on Facebook.

“Cuban society continues to emigrate massively, including active players, retirees, coaches and athletes from other disciplines,” Romero said on his social networks. He anticipated that given the possibility of flights to Nicaragua, there would be several departures before the First Elite League, which will begin on October 8.

El pelotero Yadier Batista puede lanzar entre 88-91 millas. (Collage)

Meanwhile, he has left for the Dominican Republic. This 18-year-old hopes to continue his career with a U.S. Major League team. “In the recently finished National U-23 Championship he made news by pitching a game without a hit or any runs,” posted Baseball FR!

“Now he’ll go through new processes. In the first he will seek to perfect his tools and polish his entire command,” Francys Romero said. “The second part is to apply for free agency and receive permission from the MLB to be able to sign with a professional team.” This athlete, originally from Ciego de Ávila, 6’3 tall and 180 pounds in weight, can throw between 88-91 miles per hour.

Batista can pitch at a speed between 94-95 miles per hour, and according to the specialized journalist, “he has a profile of opener, command and sufficient repertoire. His body still has much more space for the development of those tools.”

Batista is preceded by his performance in 2019, when he left a statistic of 5-0 in 46 innings, and 52 strikeouts in the Nacional 2015-16. At that time he was one of the 13 pitchers who averaged fewer than three clean runs per game.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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