Cuba’s Premier12 roster mixes veterans, future stars

Cuba’s Premier12 roster mixes veterans, future stars
13/10/2019

Cuba announced its 28-man roster for the WBSC Premier12. Veteran slugger Alfredo Despaigne looks once again like the marquee player on the roster. He starred for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks during the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) season. Despaigne is a six-year NPB veteran and has enjoyed in 2019 his second 30-home run season. He hit […]

Cuba announced its 28-man roster for the WBSC Premier12.

Veteran slugger Alfredo Despaigne looks once again like the marquee player on the roster. He starred for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks during the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) season. Despaigne is a six-year NPB veteran and has enjoyed in 2019 his second 30-home run season. He hit so far over 150 home runs in Japan. Relief pitcher Livan Moinelo, infielder Yurisbel Gracial also played for Fukuoka in Japan. Raidel Martinez was on the roster of the Chunichi Dragons, another NPB team. He acted as the part-time closer.
Outfielder Oscar Luis Colas, a 21-year old, made his NPB debut for Fukuoka this Summer. He will lead a group of talented National Team rookies. Catcher Ariel Martinez, a 23-year old who signed in 2018 a development contract with the NPB Chunichi Dragons, will also make his debut. The other absolute beginners are 21-year old third baseman Pavel Quesada, former U-23 National Team pitching star Andy Rodriguez and veteran pitchers Carlos Juan Viera and Frank Madan.
Fréderich Cépeda, an Olympic gold medalist and still one of the best hitters of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. Cepeda will make his comeback to the National Team at 39. Infielders Erisbel Arruebarruena, William Saavedra and Alexander Ayala will also make their return.
The pitching staff relies a lot on Yosimar Cousín and Yariel Rodríguez. highly-touted prospects in their early twenties who are under the radar of professional scouts.

The players are listed in the roster according to the Cuban Serie Nacional club where they developed

PITCHERS (13) Carlos Juan Viera (Las Tunas), Yosimar Cousín (Camaguey), Yariel Rodríguez (Camaguey), Liván Moinelo (Pinar del Rio), Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila), Vladimir Baños (Habana), Yoenni Yera (Matanzas), Lázaro Blanco (Granma), Freddy Asiel Álvarez (Villa Clara), Frank Madan (Camaguey), Raidel Martínez (Pinar del Rio), Andy Amaury Rodríguez (Habana), Yudiel Rodríguez (Las Tunas)

CATCHERS (3) Ariel Martínez (Matanzas), Yunior Ibarra (Santi Espiritu), Yosvany Alarcón (LasTunas)

INFIELDERS (7) Willian Saavedra (Pinar del Rio), Yordanis Samón (Habana), Raúl González (Ciego de Avila), Alexander Ayala (Camaguey), César Prieto (Cienfuegos), Pavel Quesada (Cienfuefos), Bárbaro Erisbe Arruebarruena (Matanzas)

OUTFIELDERS (5) Roel Santos (Granma), Oscar Luis Colás (Santiago), Fréderich Cepeda (Santi Espiritu), Yurisbel Gracial (Matanzas), Alfredo Despaigne (Granma)

Miguel Borroto, the skipper of the Toros de Camaguey in the Serie Nacional, will manage Cuba. His coaching staff will include former super stars Omar Linares and Pedro Lazo. José Eulalio Hernández, Ricardo Eizmendiz and José Elósegui will be the other coaches.

Cuba's manager Miguel Borroto

Miguel Borroto

World number 5 Cuba will compete in group C in Seoul and will face the hosts Korea (world number 3), Australia (7) and Canada (10).