By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Jan. 4, 2023
Leodan Reyes left Cuba on December 17 to go to the Dominican Republic after appearing in two tournaments for the Cuban National Team in 2022.
Reyes, who pitched in the U-23 World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup in Taiwan last October and the 2022 Caribbean Cup in the Bahamas in December, is an MLB free agent.
“Every athlete dreams of reaching the highest level in their sport and I believe that it is a step in my life for which I will fight without stopping, without rest and with a lot of attitude, delivery and discipline,” Reyes told World Baseball Network via WhatsApp from the Dominican Republic. His words were translated from Spanish.
Reyes pitched in the Caribbean Cup in relief against Puerto Rico in the Championship game and started against the Bahamas during the opening round. During the U-23 World Cup, Reyes went 0-1 with a 0.00 earned run average through 7.2 innings pitched, recording seven strikeouts and walking one batter. In the past season, Reyes led the Serie Nacional U-23 league with 32 strikeouts.
Reyes is working out on the island and will likely be sought after during the international free agent signing period which begins January 15.
“Here in the Dominican Republic, they have welcomed me very well since my arrival,” Reyes said. “In the training part, there have been many changes and exercises that I had never done in Cuba, but I think I have overcome it and I have been adapting very quickly.”
In his two most recent appearances for Cuba, Reyes pitched under manager Armando Johnson and 14-time international gold medalist and pitching coach Pedro Lazo, both of whom are on Cuba’s staff for the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
“I have to thank each of those great coaches who did their best so that today I could become the athlete I am and I will continue to fight to improve day by day,” Reyes said. “More than grateful for all the time that was given to me.”
Baseball writer Francys Romero of the website Beisbolfr.com described Reyes as athletic with a fastball that tops out around 96 mph, and compliments the heater with a hard slider, curveball and changeup.