14ymedio, Havana, 19 November 2021 — Cuban national sport is in crisis. This Friday the prospect Luis Jesús Quesada left the island and is already in the Dominican Republic. The athlete from Cienfuegos joined Cristián de Jesús López, Darlin Jiménez and Gustavo Urgellés, who emigrated in the last 30 days in search of opportunities in Major League Baseball in the United States (MLB).
Quesada “left through the legal channels of the country,” according to the journalist Francys Romero. At 16, he said, “he is one of the best talents in his class and, according to my rankings, the number one in batting average and home runs in his category.” In the last National Championship with Cienfuegos, his average was .416 (37 hits in 89 at-bats), 11 doubles and three home runs.
The bleeding of players continues, while the state newspaper Granma highlights in an article Cuba’s “essence of a world sports power” on the Day of Physical Culture and Sports, recognizing the role of physical education as “the basis of Cuban sports.”
A foundation that seems broken with the flight of 12 baseball players last October from the U-23 World Cup that took place in Sonora, Mexico, and another three in the Baseball Pre-Olympic in Florida with the desertions of César Prieto, Lázaro Blanco and Andy Rodríguez. To these losses was added that of the team psychologist, Jorge Sile Figueroa.
“I don’t know well about other sports, but young players don’t have the opportunity to grow on the island, they don’t have the freedom to choose, that’s why they run away,” said the players’ agent based in Miami, Carlos Pérez. “The boys shouldn’t have to be jumping from balconies or seeking asylum.” Meanwhile, Romero warned that “with the recent opening of airports in Cuba, the emigration of baseball players will begin to resume its normal patterns.”
The desertions have spread to other disciplines, such as the judokas Ayumi Leyva and Nahomys Acosta and the basketball player Raudelis Guerra, who left the island’s delegation during stopovers in Madrid, Spain, which affected the image of INDER (National Institute for Sports Physical Education & Recreation).
This Friday it was also announced that one of the youths who left the patriotic team in Mexico, Miguel Antonio González, is already in the US and will be represented by David Hastings. The next objective will be to obtain a free agent, although several teams have already shown interest in adding him to their ranks.
Last season he had an offensive line of .318 / .417 / .439, 7 doubles and two homers, plus 14 RBIs. In the U23 World Cup, he registered “five games, with .385 / .556 / .385, 5 hits in 13 at-bats and 3 RBI,” highlighted the FR website.
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