Three Other Cuban Baseball Players Escape, Two are Already in the US and the Third is in the Dominican Republic

Juan Miguel Fernández and Roberto Álvarez are two of the three players who left the island between Friday and Saturday. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 May 2022 — The bleeding of Cuban baseball players does not stop. Between Friday and Saturday Juan Miguel Fernández, Dairon Pimentel and Roberto Álvarez left the island. “The sad reality of Cuban society and the disparate problems of a country have also been transferred to baseball players,” said journalist Francys Romero.

Fernández and Pimentel, both from Mayabeque, are already in the United States and will seek an opportunity with one of the Major League teams. “The destination is no longer even MLB, the Dominican Republic or Mexico,” said Romero in Béisbol FR! “The course is to try to find a future.”

Fernández, who had a 60-day journey, brings his experience in two National Series defending the colors of Mayabeque. The young athlete threw more than 50 innings. Romero stressed that his “top fastball speed has ranged between 91-92 miles and he hopes to be able to increase those records to continue his career in baseball.”

Of Pimentel it must be said that in 2020 he presented favorable numbers in minor categories with a .376 average, three doubles and four triples. “In the current Youth National being held in Cuba, he participated in 12 games between third base and center field,” Romero noted.

Before Fernández and Pimentel, the Cuban athletes Luis Enrique González and Daniel Pérez, originally from Cienfuegos, arrived in the United States last March. A peculiar case is that of González, who in 2020 was excluded from the Under-23 team on the grounds of testing positive to covid-19. A situation that was ruled out by a healthcare provider to Pelota Cubana. The young man is already in Baltimore, where he is looking for an opportunity with the Orioles.

The abandonments occur in the framework of the island’s announcement to play the Caribbean Baseball Series again in 2023. The 65th edition of the tournament will take place next February in the Venezuelan cities of Caracas and La Guaira with the participation, for the first time, of teams from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama and Curaçao.

This Saturday, Roberto Álvarez’s stay in the Dominican Republic was confirmed, the preferred route of several athletes to leave Cuba and seek an opportunity in MLB teams.

Álvarez, who was part of the Matanzas team, is noted as a “skilled outfielder.” At 23, he will seek free agency and then sign with a major league organization. “He is an athletic player with an excellent physique… Among his most recognized tools are speed, defense and arm,” explained Francys Romero.

The departures of Fernández, Pimentel and Álvarez are added to that of Crisptohfer Pérez, who left for the Dominican Republic on May 7. The Cuban outfielder started in the Under-15 World Cup held in Panama during the summer of 2018 and in the current Youth Championship he led the hits list with Pinar del Río with 12.


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