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Monday, May 31, 2021

Cuban baseball player César Prieto defects from national team during trip to Florida

The Cuban Baseball Federation announced Wednesday that infielder César Prieto had defected from the team. According to a report by Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today, Prieto, 22, allegedly fled Cuba’s national baseball team shortly after their arrival in Florida to take part in a qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics. The team confirmed Prieto’s defection in a statement.

“His decision, which is contrary to the commitment he made with both his country and team, has generated repudiation among his colleagues and other members of the delegation, who are willing to overcome foreign interests to be faithful to our homeland and the mission with which we traveled to the tournament,” read a statement issued by the Federación Cubana de Béisbol.

Due to the ongoing tense relationship between the United States and Cuba, it has become common for Cuban players seeking to play in the Major Leagues to defect from their home country. Notable Cuban players to defect over the past decade include Yoenis Céspedes of the New York Mets, former Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Yasiel Puig, and Chicago White Sox star José Abreu, while some of the most famous defectors include Orlando Hernández, Rolando Arrojo, and Danys Báez.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 31, 2021 at 11:14 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuban players

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   1. The Duke Posted: May 31, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6021727)
Another player for the White Sox to add to their roster to help backfill
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 31, 2021 at 11:58 PM (#6021732)
How many postseason MVP awards does Livan Hernandez need to win to get a little respect around here?
   3. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6021737)
We might as well look this guy up.

In 157 games in Cuba he hit 370/443/520. Only 11 HR, looks more like gap power. Don't know how that translates to MLB. Davenport's page is giving me 404 errors when I try to pull up Cuban translations. FWIW Puig hit 310/404/527, with more HR power. (I bet you could have figured that out just by looking at those lines.) If the Puig comparison actually tells us anything, then this guy looks like he might be a useful MLB player. Prieto had the second highest OBP on his team last year, and the highest slugging percentage. And he's only 22. Fielding data is incomplete, but he's listed as a second baseman. Sounds promising.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6021739)
Davenport's page is giving me 404 errors when I try to pull up Cuban translations.
Oof. He better sign with an AL team then.
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6021743)
The Obama administration ended wet-foot-dry-foot in 2017 and neither the Trump nor Biden administrations brought it back, so wouldn't he be subject to deportation if he stayed in the US?
   6. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2021 at 01:06 AM (#6021745)
In 157 games in Cuba he hit 370/443/520.

At 20-21, in 122 games, Lourdes Gurriel Jr hit (give or take) 320/400/500. He got to the majors at 24 and has hit 280/316/482, 115 OPS+ but struggling this year. Also he needed to move to the OF but he wasn't a full-time 2B in Cuba so probably everybody knew he wouldn't stick in the IF. Gurriel's ML rate stats are now roughly the same as Puig's so that gives some confidence this guy will hit well enough to stick.
   7. TJ Posted: June 01, 2021 at 08:42 AM (#6021760)
Davenport's page is giving me 404 errors when I try to pull up Cuban translations.
Oof. He better sign with an AL team then.


Sounds like a Gleybar Torres comp...
   8. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 01, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6021764)
The Obama administration ended wet-foot-dry-foot in 2017 and neither the Trump nor Biden administrations brought it back, so wouldn't he be subject to deportation if he stayed in the US?


Not necessarily. He can still apply for asylum and getting it from Cuba remains a lot easier than say someplace like Mexico. It's just not an automatic anymore but my understanding is that it's pretty close.
   9. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6021820)
The comp I'd give him is Ramon Urias.
   10. Traderdave Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6021824)
Given the frequency of defection, it's a bit surprising that any Cuban team would still travel to the US
   11. The Duke Posted: June 01, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6021829)
The cuban pipeline has been such a boon to the white Sox. All these guys want to play for Minnie Minoso’s team. I’ve been Hoping the cardinals would do this with Korean players but SD bought Kim out from under them.
   12. T.J. Posted: June 01, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6021854)
Davenport's page is giving me 404 errors when I try to pull up Cuban translations.
https://d2v7i6t2.map2.ssl.hwcdn.net/content/quotes/2483_500.jpg
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 02, 2021 at 12:49 AM (#6021961)
Since he defected directly to the US (rather than going through a third country like Mexico), is he subject to the MLB draft?
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 02, 2021 at 11:07 AM (#6022025)
Given the frequency of defection, it's a bit surprising that any Cuban team would still travel to the US

But they don’t have to be in the US to defect — anywhere outside of Cuba there’s a risk of that happening (I think, due to the draft, it’s historically been better for them to defect outside of the US. The new system may have changed that). And what’s the point of having this great national team if you don’t go out and compete on the international stage?

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