A general view of Nationals Park in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
Cuban pitcher Leodan Reyes, 23, will sign with the Washington Nationals on January 15 when International Free Agent signing period begins.
Francis Romero of Beisbolfr.com reported the news on November 12. The contract, a minor league deal, is estimated to be around $60,000.
Reyes has a fastball that normally sits around 93-94 mph and has topped out at 96 mph. He also features a curveball, slider, and changeup.
Reyes pitched in Cuba from 2020-22. In 2022, Reyes pitched for Tabacaleros in the Cuban Elite League, appearing in six games and throwing 8.2 innings. He struck out six batters and allowed one run.
Reyes also pitched for Cuba in the Serie Nacional U-23 league and led the league with 32 strikeouts, pitching 30 innings with an ERA of 1.35. After this, Reyes was selected for the U-23 World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup in Taiwan in October of 2022. Reyes pitched seven innings at the event without allowing a run and striking out seven. Reyes capped his 2022 season by pitching in the Caribbean Cup last December.
On December 17, Reyes left Cuba to train in Quisqueya in the San Pedro de Macoris province of the Dominican Republic, with the goal of being an MLB free agent.
“I didn’t have the luck or the joy of being born into a family that would be doing very well financially, but that couldn’t stop my desire to fight for my dreams. God gave me a talent and my mission is to develop it to the maximum and exploit that talent. That made me able to see myself outside of my country,” Reyes told World Baseball Network via WhatsApp.
Leaving Cuba was a leap of faith for Reyes, but he ultimately felt he had to make the move to put his baseball career and life in a better position. Reyes was beyond thrilled to come to the agreement with the Washington Nationals.
“It’s truly extremely exciting to get to leave your country for a purpose and see it achieved,” Reyes said. “It is very important for me since with my signature I can help and move my family forward”
Reyes will most likely be sent to Washington National’s complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, per Francys Romero.