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WBN’s International Player of the Week: Frederich Cepeda

 Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 13th, 2024 4:49pm EDT

Infielder of Netherlands tags out Frederich Cepeda #24 of Cuba in 2013 WBC. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The winner of WBN’s International Player of the Week is Cuban outfielder Frederich Cepeda.

Cepeda hit his 370th home run, the fifth most in the history of Cuban baseball, on June 12. Cepeda, 44, plays for Gallos de Sancti Spiritus and hits the blast against the Holguin Cachorros.

The switch-hitting Cuban outfielder went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI against the Holguin Cachorros. He tied Cuban legend Romelio Martinez, an outfielder for Vaqueros de La Habana, with his 370th home run.

Antino Munzo is next up as the fourth player on the list with 371 home runs. Munzo played for Elefantes de Cienfuegos and retired in 1992. The all-time Cuban home runs leader is Orestes Kindelan at 487 home runs. Kindelan was a first baseman and outfielder for Avispas de Santiago de Cuba and retired in 2003. His record appears to be safe due to Cepeda’s age. Although Cepeda playing the outfield at 44 years old is very impressive.

Cepeda could have a chance to move second in the all-time list, which Lazaro Junco currently occupies with 405 home runs. Junco last played with Cocodrilos de Matanzas in 1995.

He has 13 home runs, 57 RBI, a .339 batting average, and an OPS of 1.100 in 224 at-bats this season and made his debut with Gallos de Sancti Spiritus in 1998. He’s played 25 seasons with them and spent two years from 2014 to 2015 with the Yomiuri Giants in the NPB in Japan.

Cepeda has also made a lot of international appearances for Team Cuba. Some events he’s played in are the World Baseball Classic, the Olympics, and the Caribbean Series. He got second with Cuba in the 2006 WBC, losing to Japan in the finals at Petco Park in San Diego. He helped Cuba win the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, against Australia in the finals.

In the 2009 WBC, Cepeda played for Cuba, and they were eliminated by Japan again. He was named to the 2009 WBC All-Star team, hitting .500, with three home runs and six RBI in 24 at-bats.

Cepeda will look to tie or pass Martinez’s home run count on June 13. Gallos de Sancti Spíritus will play the Holguin Cachorros at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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Julian Guilarte - World Baseball Network