Cuba Offers 80 Players to Talent Scouts From Japan, South Korea, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador

Headhunters for the Japanese teams Softbank, Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions and for the Korean Lotte Giants observed the Cuban baseball players. (Facebook/Guillermo Rodriguez Hidalgo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 September 2023 — The Island is offering Ecuador, a country where baseball is developing, its players from the national pre-selection and from the Under-23 and Under-18 categories. According to the list of talent scouts that appeared this Monday at the Latin American Stadium in Havana, Paulo Hernández attended Ecuador as development director of the Pichincha Baseball Sports Association to observe the athletes he might contract at an event organized by the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB).

Hernández has a direct link with the Island. Last year, according to a publication by Prensa Latina, he was the representative of Cubadeportes in Ecuador.

Baseball in Pichincha is in development. Until two years ago in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the game was practiced on soccer fields. The teams Águilas del Diamante, Lobos de Páramo and Bárbaros gave way to the Pichincha Baseball Association. The stadium that was announced in 2021 is being planned.

The option does not seem very encouraging for Cuban players who are looking for development and improvement in the average salaries on the Island. With a current tabulator of 2020, a member of the national pre-selection who participates in the National Series receives 3,725 Cuban pesos (19 dollars) monthly. A member of the Reserve of the National Pre-selection and National Series receives 2,400 (12 dollars).

The event in Havana was also attended by Luis Enrique Consuegra, director of the Dominican academy of the same name. “The idea of Academies like Consuegra’s is to take players between 18-20 years old and if they don’t sign with an MLB organization, move them through Caribbean Leagues,” according to journalist Francys Romero. “This will be the first time since professionalism was abolished in Cuba in 1962 until 2010, when emigration began to become systematic.”

The FCB’s strategy to prevent the escape of talents turned this Monday into a catwalk of 80 players at the Latin American Stadium. The call was attended by 15 scouts of teams from Japan, South Korea and visitors from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador with whom the Island has agreements and representatives of the World Baseball-Softball Confederation (WBSC).

The so-called first international baseball tryout represents a source of income for the Island and develops just when it was revealed that the sports authorities suspended the National Under-23 Baseball Series due to the “difficult economic situation facing the country.” The precarious situation also forced the cancellation of the national championship 9-10 years, the final stage of Baseball 5, the National Women’s Baseball Cup. The Under-18 National Championship was not even concluded.

The options for Cubans are focused on the Japanese clubs Softbank Falcons, Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions, and the Korean team Lotte Giants.

Until last January, Yomiuri Giants had six players in their ranks in different stages. The most recent was the Cuban pitcher Yoan López, but he did not arrive through the FCB. The player was hired after leaving the New York Mets. Before him were Leslie Anderson, Frederich Cepeda, Héctor Mendoza, José Adolis García and Alexander Guerrero.

In the morning, the players carried out 60-yard running tests and from home to first base with swing; fielding practice in the infield, work in the bullpen to detect their throwing power, in addition to the strength of their batting, proclaimed the official medium Jit.

The Latin American Stadium opened its doors to the public in the afternoon for the national pre-selection match. The tests will continue this Tuesday and Wednesday.

The closing will be with a game between the national pre-selection against Granma, which will represent the Island in the WBSC Champions League.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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