Yoelkis Guibert of Team Cuba hits a single at the top of the 7th inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool A game between Cuba and Panama at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 10, 2023 in Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Cuban outfielder Yoelkis Guibert will play with the Charros de Jalisco, who are returning to Liga Mexicana de Beisbol in 2024, Beisbol Puro reported on January 9.
Guibert and relief pitcher Brandon Koch are both labeled as reinforcements but could both have an opportunity to make the Charros de Jalisco roster prior to the start of the 2024 season.
Yusseff Diaz of Pelota Cubana USA reported on November 20 that Guibert was in contract negotiations with the Federación Cubana de Beisbol to play for Toros de Tijuana. A deal to have Guibert play with the Toros de Tijuana was never reached.
“I want to thank the organization of the Tijuana bulls for taking me into account to be part of the team, but I personally believe that in Guadalajara I would have more opportunities to play and be able to show that I can have results in the summer in Mexico,” Guibert told to World Baseball Network in Spanish via WhatsApp on Wednesday.
Guibert, 29, was born in Palma Soriano, Cuba, and is playing with the Algodoneros de Guasave during the 2023-24 winter league season in Liga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico. Guibert played in 50 games, batting .258 in 217 plate appearances with 49 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 23 RBI, 20 walks, 51 strikeouts and a .732 OPS.
The Algodoneros de Guasave were bounced from the 2024 playoffs in the quarterfinals, losing in seven games to the Aguilas de Mexicali on January 9.
“I was adapting better in Mexico during the winter as the games went on since the beginning of the season. I was not good but thanks to the confidence they gave me here I can improve as the days go by,” Guibert stated to World Baseball Network.
Guibert played right field in the 2023 Pan American Games for the Cuban national team during late October, when Cuba took fifth place in the tournament. Guibert had 14 at-bats, four hits, scoring three runs, one RBI, one walk, and four strikeouts while batting .286 in the event.
During the 2023 Serie Nacional season, Guibert played for the Avispas de Santiago de Cuba and helped them reach the semifinals, where they lost to Industriales de la Habana in seven games. Guibert batted .316 in 272 plate appearances, recording 62 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 52 RBI, and led the Serie Nacional in walks with 66.
During the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, Guibert played in seven games for Cuba, batting .481 in 27-at bats, recording 13 hits, one double, one home run, seven RBI, no walks, and two strikeouts with a 1.278 OPS.
Guibert helped Cuba earn a silver medal at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games and a berth in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Cuba was scheduled to face Mexico in the gold medal game, which was canceled due to rain.
At the 2023 World Baseball Classic for Cuba, Guibert helped them reach the semifinals in Miami and losing to the United States 14-2 at loanDepot Park. Guibert batted .333 in in six games with 18 at-bats, recording six hits, one double, two RBI, four walks and two strikeouts during the tournament.
Last winter, Guibert played in the first year of the Elite League operated by the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol for the Cafetaleros. Guibert batted .357 across 128 plate appearances, knocking 40 hits, seven doubles, three home runs, 20 RBI, and 13 walks with a .983 OPS. He appeared in 25 games in center field. The Cafetaleros did not qualify for the playoffs after finishing with a 19-29 record.
In nine seasons between Serie Nacional with Avispas de Santiago de Cuba, LAMP, the Elite League, and the Frontier League, Guibert has played in 537 games batting .307 with 2,390 plate appearances recording 620 hits, 115 doubles, 21 triples, 52 home runs, 325 RBI, 48 stolen bases, 314 walks, 275 strikeouts, and a .864 OPS.
The Charros de Jalisco franchise are returning to LMB for the first time since the 1995 season. The Charros de Jalisco ownership group bought the Mariachis de Guadalajara franchise on Nov. 14, 2023 and relocated it to Jalisco.
The 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol regular season will open with the Diablos Rojos del México against the Pericos de Puebla at Estadio de Béisbol Hermanos Serdán on April 11.
The Charros de Jalisco will play their first game of the 2024 LMB regular season against the Rieleros de Aguascalientes on the road at Parque Alberto Romo Chávez in Aguascalientes, Mexico.