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2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol Preview: The Teams of Zona Sur

 Conor Liguori  |    Apr 9th, 2024 6:41pm EDT

General view of the Eduardo Vasconcelos Stadium during an opening season match between Pericos de Puebla and Guerreros de Oaxaca as part of Mexican Baseball League 2015 at Eduardo Vasconcelos Stadium on April 05, 2015 in Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Eduardo Gonzalez/LatinContent via Getty Images)

Opening Day of the 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol season is Thursday, April 11, with a matchup between the Diablos Rojos del Mexico and the Pericos de Puebla. The rest of the league will play their first game of the year on Friday, April 12.  

 The ten teams in the Zona Sur division of the LMB are the Bravos de León, Conspiradores de Querétaro, Diablos Rojos del México, El Águila de Veracruz, Guerreros de Oaxaca, Leones de Yucatán, Olmecas de Tabasco, Pericos de Puebla, Piratas de Campeche, and the Tigres de Quintana Roo.  

 Pericos de Puebla defeated the Leones de Yucatan four games to one in the 2023 Zona Sur Championship Series and the Zona Norte champion Algodoneros de Unión Laguna four games to two in the Serie del Rey.  


Bravos de Leon (2023 Record: 34-56, Missed Postseason)  


Notable Additions: RHP Guillermo Moscoso, OF Micker Adolfo  


Notable Losses: RHP Andy Otero, OF Justin Byrd  

 The Bravos de Leon won their only Serie del Rey in 1990 and missed the postseason by five games in 2023, finishing in eighth place in the Zona Sur division. Third baseman Niko Vasquez was a bright spot in a rather dim lineup, hitting .316 with 14 home runs in 80 games. To return to the postseason in 2024, the organization must improve upon a -69 run differential in 2023.  


Conspiradores de Querétaro (Expansion Team – 2023 Record: NA)  


Notable Additions: LHP Ivan Salas, RHP Casey Coleman, OF Roel Santos, RHP Carlos Viera, OF Rusney Castillo, RHP Miguel Romero  


Notable Losses: NA  

The Conspiradores de Queretaro was established on Nov. 8, 2022, and will debut in the LMB in the 2024 season. The team will play its home games at Estadio Conspiradores in Huimilpan, Queretaro, Mexico. The Conspiradores picked 18 players during the LMB expansion draft in November 2023, including outfielder Roel Santos, who has 15 years of professional baseball experience in Cuba, Mexico, and Japan.  


Diablos Rojos del México (2023 Record: 55-32 , Lost to Pericos de Puebla in Zone Series)  


Notable Additions: 2B Robinson Cano, RHP Tomohiro Anraku  


Notable Losses: RHP Tayron Guerrero, RHP Yunesky Maya  

Fresh off sweeping a two-game exhibition series with the New York Yankees, the Diablos Rojos del Mexico are led by 2009 World Series champion Robinson Cano. Despite being 41, Cano can still swing the stick, hitting a home run in game one of the series against the Yankees. The offense hit 91 home runs in 2023, led by first baseman Japhet Amador, who has hit a whopping 434 in his 17-year professional baseball career, spent mainly in Mexico and Japan.  


El Águila de Veracruz (2023 Record: 48-40, Lost to Leones de Yucatán in Zone Series)  


Notable Additions: OF Yasiel Puig  


Notable Losses: OF Junior Lake  

The most significant move of the LMB offseason was made by the El Aguila de Veracruz, who signed former MLB star outfielder Yasiel Puig. Puig can give the team extra power, as Jesus Valdez led the club with 18 last season. Veracruz has not won a Serie del Rey since 2012 and was outmatched by the Leones de Yucatan in the 2023 postseason.  


Guerreros de Oaxaca (2023 Record: 34-53, Missed Postseason)  


Notable Additions: 1B Daniel Palka, DH Renato Nunez  


Notable Losses: LHP Ivan Salas  

The Guerreros must address the pitching staff, which posted a 5.75 ERA in 2023. A central bright spot was first baseman Kyle Martin, who smashed 26 home runs in just 380 plate appearances. The organization has finished with the same record in the last two seasons.  


Leones de Yucatan (2023 Record: 47-43, Lost to Pericos de Puebla in Zona Sur Championship Series)  


Notable Additions: 2B Jose Peraza, SS Ruben Tejada, RHP Cesar Valdez  


Notable Losses: INF Alcides Escobar  

 The Leones de Yucatan were as active as any LMB organization during the winter, including adding MLB veteran infielder Ruben Tejada. The organization won its most recent Serie del Rey in 2022 but could not return to the series in 2023. However, the veteran presence on the roster could give the club an advantage in 2024.  


Olmecas de Tabasco (2023 Record: 46-37, Lost to Leones de Yucatan in First Round)  


Notable Additions: OF Billy Hamilton, LHP Yoennis Yara, SS Adeiny Hechavarria  


Notable Losses: OF Roel Santos, LHP Luis Escobar  

The Olmecas de Tabasco managed to steal 65 bases last season, thanks to Herlis Rodriguez, who led the team with 24. With the additions of Hamilton and Hechavarria, the club is focused on putting out a starting lineup to get on base and swipe bags. For Olmecas to make it past the first round, the pitching staff has to cut down on walks (294 BB in 2023).  


Pericos de Puebla (2023 Record: 46-40, Won Serie del Rey Over Algodoneros de Unión Laguna)  


Notable Additions: C Orlando Pina 


Notable Losses: 1B Chris Carter, 3B Kelvin Gutierrez  

The 2024 LMB champions will be without 2023 Serie del Rey MVP Chris Carter, who hit 21 home runs last season and signed with the Acereros de Monclova during the offseason. However, most of last year’s roster is intact, including pitcher Gabriel Ynao and left fielder Peter O’Brien. Perhaps 2024 can be the first time in history that the Pericos de Puebla can win back-to-back championships.  


Piratas de Campeche (2023 Record: 31-57, Missed Postseason)  


Notable Additions: C Francisco Pena, 3B Luis Jimenez  


Notable Losses: 2B Dilson Herrera  

The Piratas de Campeche added well-respected catcher Francisco Pena this offseason. Pena played 28 games with the Aguilas Cibaenas during the 2023-24 LIDOM season. The organization is looking for a bounce-back year after failing to make the postseason each of the last four seasons. However, it might not be accessible if the pitching staff allows over five runs per game, as they did in 2023 (5.54 ERA).  


Tigres de Quintana Roo (2023 Record: 39-51, Lost to Diablos Rojos del México in First Round)  


Notable Additions: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jeffry Nino, RHP Luis Moreno  


Notable Losses: 1B Joey Terdoslavich  

Terdoslavich remains a free agent, maintaining the possibility that he could return to the Tigres de Quintana Roo. The addition of Alcides Escobar cannot be underestimated, as the infielder won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. The club will look to avoid finishing in sixth place in Zona Sur, possibly not having to play first-place club in the postseason in the First Round.   

How to Watch: Liga Mexicana de Beisbol fans can watch the 2024 regular season using Jonron. TV.