14ymedio, Havana, 10 September 2023 — Cuban baseball player Lemay Portal has been in Mexico for days. The right-handed pitcher is looking for an opportunity with one of the teams of the Major Leagues of the United States. According to journalist Francys Romero, this athlete will be represented by ThOr Representaciones, the same agency that has managed “players like Loidel Chapellí Jr. with the Chicago White Sox and Earle Rafael Zulueta with the St. Louis Cardinals.”
Portal’s route is similar to the one used last March by the 16-year-old pitcher, Earle Rafael Zulueta. That habanero settled in Yucatan (Mexico) after leaving the Island, and after some conversations he agreed to join the American team the following year, which gave him a bonus of $400,000.
Although Lemay Portal has not offered details about where he is in Mexico, it could be in Yucatan, the state in which several Cuban players have settled after arriving on Aztec land, as Randy Arozarena and Zulueta did.
This 20-year-old athlete has a good physique and has recorded pitches that exceed 90 miles per hour. “Portal has the potential to make an impact on headhunters,” the reporter said. The next step is to apply for admission “to the free agency and be eligible for a contract within the United States Major League system.”
Lemay Portal was part of the Mayabeque Hurricanes team in the 62nd National Series. During this stage he threw 5.2 innings and had an effectiveness of 4.76. “Arms like that of Emmanuel Chapman of Holguín, two young people from Camagüey and three pitchers from Mayabeque have emigrated in recent months,” Francys Romero recalled. “Among those in the land of Mayabeque are Marlon Vega, Yulián Quintana, Roger Bolaños and now Portal.”
The escape of players is alarming. Last Friday it was confirmed that the Cuban receiver Yunior Ibarra, who completed his contract with the Canadian team Panteras de Kitchener, disassociated himself from the Cuban Baseball Federation and decided to remain independent.
Cuban baseball has also lost numerous names among the new generations. The same day that Ibarra was made official, it was reported that Eduardo Mustelier, just 11 years old, was in the Dominican Republic, where he will seek to perfect his game in search of an opportunity with a U.S. team.
Cuba has not found a strategy to prevent the flight of talent. The players choose to emigrate in search of better contracts abroad. Such is the lack of attachment that in the last year, 15 of the 20 players who made up the national team for the U-15 World Cup left the Island.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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