Some More Cuban Names

Trying to find all the Cuban ballplayers that have defected is like trying to find all the marshmellows in a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.  Sometimes there are just too many of them.  The names Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler seem to be dominating the internet conversations, but there are other players out there.  Below are some other names to keep an eye on in the Cuban free agent (or defector) scenario.

The Industriales team won the Cuban championship in 2010, but apparently there was a lot of strife on the team.  This could have led to the defection of three of the four players listed below.

Gerardo Concepcion LHP - He won the Cuban rookie of the year award after their championship march, so it may take awhile for him to become official.  He is a lefthanded pitcher that throws in the mid 90s.  Major league scouts tend to drool over those tools.  I have not read a lot about his availability or residency status, but he defected while in the Netherlands in July of 2011.

Joan Socarras LHP - He is a soft tosser that stands 6′4″ 185.  He is only 22 years old.  He defected after the Industriales championship season.  His biggest strength is a mixture of pitches and command, but his fastball does not break 90.  Perhaps that will change with better mechanics.

Armando Rivero RHP - He has a mid 90s fastball and has been called a bullpen alternative, but when you look at the variety of pitches he claims to have, i.e. slider, split, change with that mid-90s fastball you think rotation.  He is still fairly young at 23.  Peter Bjarkman voted him the MVP of the 2010 playoffs that the Industriales won.

Leugim Barroso 2B - He is only listed at 5′6″ and he is 26 years old, so he is a real stretch to make an impact.

Players outside of Industriales:

Henry Urrutia OF - Again, Peter Bjarkman voted the Las Tunas outfielder on his all sar team after the 2010 season for his .365/.456/.513 numbers.  The other outfielders voted on the team included Alfredo Despaigne and Alexei Bell.  Not on the team was Yoenis Cespedes, who had his breakout year the following year and seems to have access to an agent with the Scott Boras ability to hype a player’s status.  Urrutia is also a bit older than Cespedes at 25.

Gerald Sanchez OF - 26 years old and played for the Holquin Dogs.  He would probably be no more than minor league filler.

Omar Luis LHP - Only 19 years old, he played recently for the Cuban junior national team and faced some of the more recent number one picks of the major leagues such as Bubba Starling.  He defeated that U.S. junior national team in the 2010 quarter final, throwing a nine inning complete game and striking out five.  You can see the boxscore for that game here: http://ibaf.prod.kgroup.eu/stats/2010/canada/games/34.htm.  His fastball is generally in the low 90s and as a 19 year old his secondary stuff is quite raw.

So if your major league team is unable to sign Cespedes or Soler don’t despair.  There are still some marshmellows left in the Lucky Charms box that are still available.  They just might not be so tasty.

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