Three More Baseball Players Leave Cuba To Try Their Luck in the U.S. Major Leagues

Cuban baseball players Danger Casi, Yandro Hernández and Jorge Luis Manzolo are now in the Dominican Republic. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 January 2024 — Cuba is running out of young baseball players. On different days in the first two weeks of January, Danger Casi, Yandro Hernández and Jorge Luis Manzolo took flights to the Dominican Republic with the aim of looking for an opportunity in a Major League team of the United States.

At age 22, Danger Casi, from Guantánamo, decided to emigrate after being removed from the roster of the national team competing in the Pan American U-23 Games last November. His family denounced the “exclusion” of the athlete despite the fact that he had been the leader in batting, extra bases and doubles in the U-23 National Championship.

“Surprisingly, Casi was not included on the payroll,” journalist Francys Romero said on his social networks. The athlete was also part of the pre-selection that attended the U-23 World Cup in 2022.

Romero highlighted Casi’s statistics with the Indios of Guantánamo in the 62nd National Series. “He has an excellent physique,” but it will depend on the conditioning and the most demanding workouts he will have to undergo.

Johan Rodríguez announced his contract with the Cleveland Guardians. (X/@francysromeroFR)

At just 18 years old, outfielder Yandro Hernández, whom Francys Romero considers the best batter of the U-18 class of 2023 in Cuba, has also emigrated. “He is equally good in contact, swing speed and understanding of the zone,” stressed the specialized journalist.

Yandro is the son of Stayler Hernández, a former member of Metros and Industriales. In the Dominican Republic, he will seek to improve his batting technique. He has a batting average of .463  (80-37) and was the leader in hits with 37.

Jorge Luis Manzolo also chose the Dominican Republic for his  training. On January 10, the right-handed picher, from Báguanos, Holguín, was confirmed as staying in the Dominican Republic.

“Manzolo easily dominated the level within the youth category. His straight reached 91 miles, and he has command in his repertoire,” FR! Baseball stressed.

The best-paid agreements and contracts are a magnet for these Cuban athletes, who in the Dominican Republic are signed by talent scouts. On Monday, a new period of international signings began, and some arrangements began to be confirmed.

Boris Sarduy, a Cuban who joined the Under-12 in 2019, signed with the San Francisco Giants. The agreement guarantees him a bonus of $30,000.

Ambidextrous hitter Christian Saez signed with the San Luis Cardinals with a $150,000 bonus. (X/@francysromeroFR)

Johan Rodríguez, who left the Island at the age of 15 in 2022, formalized his hiring with the Cleveland Guardians. This baseball player, represented by Edgar Mercedes and Born to Play, was guaranteed by the team a bonus of $350,000. The team also benefited from the services of Edelvis Pérez, who will receive a $415,000 bonus.

Erik Matos is another promising player who emigrated last year. This young man is also represented by Edgar Mercedes and Born to Play, who managed to place him on the Oakland Athletics roster with a $700,000 bonus.

In December 2021, Christian Sáez left Cuba. Age 14, this native of Cienfuegos arrived as an “ambidextrous hitter,” which doubled his value, according to specialists.

The best batter of the U-12 World Cup in 2019 is now one more member of the Cardinals of San Luis with a bonus of $150,000.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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