About 9 minutes reading time.

Federacion Cubana de Beisbol Sending Players to D.R. Academy; Holds Tryout for International Scouts

 Leif Skodnick  |    Sep 15th, 2023 8:47pm EDT

The Estadio LatinoAmericano in Havana, Cuba hosted a tryout camp for international scouts to evaluate Cuban players. (Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

The Federación Cubana de Béisbol hosted a workout with players that have participated in the Serie Nacional, U-23, and U-18 on Monday at Estadio Latinoamericano in front of scouts from Cuba and several other nations. 

The prospects that were in attendance at the showcase ranged from ages 16 to 23, and scouts from the Consuegra Academy in the Dominican Republic as well as teams from Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan including the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, Yomiuri Giants, and Seibu Lions, and the Korean Baseball Organization’s Lotte Giants were present to evaluate talent. The World Baseball Softball Confederation and the WBSC Americas also sent representatives to Havana. 

The WBSC Americas sector sent representatives from Ecuador to the tryouts on Monday, and could help place participating players in professional leagues elsewhere in the western hemisphere and in Europe in federation-operated professional leagues. Ecuador has a federation-operated professional league in their country, and thus is positioned to assess these players for those opportunities. 

The Consuegra Academy in the Dominican Republic will be working closely with the FCB, with the Cuban players being trained at the academy, and the players will be assessed with the participating scouts from Asian teams that were present at the workouts on Monday in Havana. 

The Cuban players contracts that were selected by scouts from NPB and the KBO will be sold to the Consuegra Academy. 

The FCB hopes that players are sold to the Consuegra Academy so that they either sign with a Major League Baseball organization or be funneled to the winter leagues in the Caribbean or Liga Mexicana de Beisbol that run’s during the spring and summer time frame. 

Luis Consuegra is the academy operator for the Consuegra Academy, and was present at the event as the lone advisor from the Dominican Republic in Havana on Monday. 

Reporter Francys Romeroof beisbolfr.com noted, “Academies like those of the Consuegra Academy, players [are] between 18-20 years and, if they do not sign with an MLB organization, will be moved to Caribbean leagues from both seasons.” 

The legality of Major League Baseball teams signing the players from the FCB that were at the tryout remains an open question. Players who reside on in Cuba without legal residency in a third country cannot sign a Major League contract or be granted free agency by MLB under a series of economic sanctions placed on Cuba by the United States government dating back to the Eisenhower administration.  

Since the U.S. trade embargo started, Cuba has had a few players that were signed to play in other foreign leagues outside of Major League Baseball between 1962 and 2013. 

The FCB recently announced on Wednesday through their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter the players going to the Dominican Republic have input into the process. 

“The Cuban Baseball Federation categorically denies that it holds talks to hire players in academies in the Dominican Republic or another country,” the tweet states, translated from Spanish to English. A following tweet said, “[The FCB] reiterates that contracts under its protection are made with clubs directly in line with the legal and sporting aspects established by mutual agreement, in which the athlete also plays a crucial role.” 

Ricardo Eizmendiz, the technical director of the Comision Nacional de Beisbol, said in a story from Telemundo 51 in Miami, “this is the first time that so many foreign scouts are in Cuba at the same time to monitor players from the island. …This was the general purpose, to host the tryouts in Havana to formalize the relationship, so that in the not too distant future, we have other impact players who can help us and also have the event once a year on the same date.” 

The FCB president, Juan Reinaldo Perez, is assessing players for the Cuban rosters for several upcoming international events, including the Baseball Champions League from September 28 to October 1 with Alazanes de Granma representing Cuba, the Caribbean Cup in Puerto Rico from October 1-8, and the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, from October 18-28. 

The FCB also gave permission to Cuban professional players at the tryout to have access to play the professional leagues in Mexico, Japan, Italy, Canada, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. 

The 63rd Serie Nacional season, which will be played in 2024, will be the league’s third year operating as a summer league. 

The Cuban Elite League will begin its second season as a winter league in late October, a season that is expected to end in late January or early February. 

The full list of Cuban players under contract to foreign organizations below includes players playing in Nippon Professional Baseball, the Tokushima Indigo Socks of the Shikoku Island League Plus in Japan, the Intercounty Baseball League in Canada, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, and the Italian Baseball League. Cuban baseball legend Omar Linares is the only assistant coach that is employed by the Chunichi Dragons that is designated on the athletes contract list from the FCB. 

The FCB has also announced which players will be playing in winter leagues for the 2023-24 season in Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico, Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana, and Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional in Nicaragua. A full list is below. 

Only two players are listed for summer contracts in 2024 that will play for the Chunichi Dragons in Nippon Professional Baseball for next season. 

Cuba is currently No. 8 in the World Baseball Rankings following a third-place finish at the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Cuban Players Under FCB Control During the 2023 Season (Team) (Country) 
Livan Moinelo (Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) (Japan) 
Ariel Martinez (Hokkaido Nippon Ham-Fighters (Japan) 
Raidel Martinez (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Frank Abel Alvarez (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Guillermo Garcia (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Omar Linares (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Pedro Revilla Leyva (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Alfredo Despaigne (Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks) (Japan) 
Yasser Perez (Tokushima Indigo Socks) (Japan) 
Yamichel Perez (Kitchener Panthers) (Canada) 
Yunior Ibarra (Kitchener Panthers) (Canada) 
Raul Gonzalez (Kitchener Panthers) (Canada) 
Yadian Martinez (Kitchener Panthers) (Canada) 
Pavel Hernandez (Rieleros de Aguascalientes) (Mexico) 
Roel Santos (Olmecas de Tabasco) (Mexico) 
Raico Santos (Olmecas de Tabasco) (Mexico) 
Yoennis Yera (Olmecas de Tabasco) (Mexico) 
Carlos Viera (Olmecas de Tabasco) (Mexico) 
Yunieski Laudert (Piratas de Campeche) (Mexico) 
Eriel Carrillo Suarez (A.S.D. Grizzlies Torino Baseball) (Italy) 
Frank Luis Medina (Poviglio Baseball A.S.D.) (Italy) 
Elder Nodal (Brescia Baseball Associazione) (Italy) 

Cuban Players Under FCB Control In The 2023-24 Winter League Season (Team) (Country)
Yoelkis Guibert (Algodoneros de Guasave) (Mexico) 
Yurisbel Gracial (Venados de Mazatlán) (Mexico) 
Dani Oramas (Cañeros de Los Mochis) (México) 
Yoennis Yera (Charros de Jalisco) (Mexico) 
Roel Santos (Estrellas Orientales) (Dominican Republic) 
Dayan Garcia (Tigres de Chinandega) (Nicaragua)

Cuban Players Under FCB Control For the 2024 Season (Team) (Country) 
Carlos Monier (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 
Cristian Rodriguez (Chunichi Dragons) (Japan) 

Cuban Players At Estadio Latinoamericano Tryout Camp By Age Group

Cuba U-23 Players at Tryout Event

Catchers (Team) 
Carlos Chávez Sehara (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)

Infielders (Team) 
Adrián Jesús Pérez García (Cocodrilos de Matanzas)
Jean Lucas Baldoquín Martínez (Leñadores de Las Tunas)
Javier Alejandro Escobar Martínez (Gallos de Sancti Spíritus)
Frank David González Cuéllar (Leones de Industriales)
Xian Vega Urrutia (Elefantes de Cienfuegos)

Outfielders (Team) 
Danger Rafael Casi Cutiño (Indios de Guantánamo)

Pitchers (Team) 
José Ignacio Bermúdez García (Huracanes de Mayabeque) 
Naiki Piedra González (Cocodrilos de Matanzas) 
Orisbel Borges Pérez (Vegueros de Pinar del Río)
Oscar Mario Benedetti Gutiérrez (Leones de Industriales)
Mario Leandro Sablón Medina (Leones de Industriales)
Juan Carlos Pérez Redonet (Vegueros de Pinar del Río)
Yan Carlos García Rodríguez (Vegueros de Pinar del Río)
Silvano Echevarría González (Leones de Industriales) 
Jonathan Cruz Castellano (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)
Albert Valladares Sánchez (Huracanes de Mayabeque)
Reynaldo A. Álvarez Domínguez (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)
Ariel Alfredo Hechevarría Rodes (Leones de Industriales)

Cuba U-18 Players at Tryout

Catchers (Team) 
Diego Fernández Hernández (Leones de Industriales)
Alexey Febles Lorenzo (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)

Infielders (Team) 
Boris Javier Madrazo Blanco (Piratas de Isla de la Juventud) 
Leandro Alejandro Guerra Abreu (Cachorros de Holguín) 
Gabriel Valdés Ríos (Leones de Industriales)

Outfielders (Team)
Yamel Sánchez Estévez (Leones de Industriales)
Maikol Rodríguez Cuevas (Gallos de Spiritus Sancti) 
Yandro Manuel Castellón Hernández (Leones de Industriales)
Marcos Antonio Argudín Ortega (Vegueros de Pinar del Río) 
Álvaro Omar Cobas Peña (Cachorros de Holguín)

Pitchers (Team) 
Yan Edwing Cabrera Murgia (Azucareros de Villa Clara)
Darío Sarduy Medina (Azucareros de Villa Clara)
Edgar Luis Zulueta Iznaga (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)
Leandro Gallardo Betancourt (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)
Robier Hernández Navarro (Avispas de Santiago de Cuba)
César Morales Rodríguez (Azucareros de Villa Clara)

Serie Nacional Players at Tryout

Infielders (Team) 
Yaser Julio González Castro (Vegueros de Pinar del Río)
Jonathan Bridon Sarduy (Tigres de Ciego de Avila) 
Raúl González Abascal (Vegueros de Pinar del Río) 

Pitchers (Team) 
Leandro Alberto Ocle Bouli (Vegueros de Pinar del Río) 
Armando Abdiel Dueñas More (Cocodrilos de Matanzas)