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Pedro Revilla Does Not Return to Cuba Following 2023 NPB Season

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    Sep 27th, 2023 7:07am EDT

By Conor Liguori
World Baseball Network

Pedro Revilla of the Chunichi Dragons in Nippon Professional Baseball did not return to Cuba after finishing the Western League season in Japan.

Revilla will seek a Major League Baseball contract, according to Francys Romero of Beisbolfr.com. DiariodeCuba.com reports that Revilla would have played for Portuarios de Industriales & Mayabeque in the upcoming Liga Elite del Beisbol Cubano season.

The Federacion Cubana de Beisbol released the following statement regarding Revilla on their Twitter page Tuesday morning: “The Cuban Baseball Federation reports that after completing his season with the Dragones de Chunichi team of the Japanese Professional Baseball League, the athlete Pedro Pablo Revilla brought forward his departure from the country, in relation to what was agreed with the club, and did not return to Cuba.”

Revilla began his professional baseball career in Cuba at 18 years old in Serie Nacional de Béisbol with the Indios de Guantánamo. He had a .921 OPS and 35 home runs in five seasons in the Serie Nacional de Béisbol from 2017 to 2022. Revilla’s best statistical season was during 2021-22, when he hit .313 and led the league in home runs with 26. His previous highest home run total in a season was four in 2019-20.

The 24-year-old played his first season with the Chunichi Dragons in 2022, but struggled to gain momentum at the plate. Revilla hit a measly .203 with one home run in 21 games. Revilla’s only home run with the parent team was in his first NPB game with the Dragons. He took a 2-0 pitch deep to left field to give Chunichi a 1-0 lead over the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

The Dragons demoted him to their farm league team in the middle of the 2022 season, but his numbers only slightly improved. Revilla raised his OPS from .509 to .672 and had five more RBI in 17 fewer plate appearances. Revilla’s offensive output did not impress the Dragons, and he began the 2023 season with the farm team.

Revilla hit .188 with three home runs and 14 RBI this season for the Chunichi Dragons in the Western League. One aspect of his game he has struggled with is his plate discipline and ability to draw walks. In his seven-year professional baseball career, Revilla has struck out 233 times and walked just 67.

Revilla has not found a full-time position since beginning his career with the Indios de Guantanamo. He has played 92 career games at first base, 33 games at catcher, and 22 in the outfield. At 5-foot-8 and 220 pounds, Revilla’s body type matches a first baseman’s. He has a .971 fielding percentage in 173 defensive chances at first base in 2023 with the Dragons’ farm team.

Revilla is among hundreds of Cuban baseball players representing their country in international tournaments. He played in the 2021 Junior Pan American Games for Cuba, who would go on to earn the bronze medal at Estadio Edgar Renteria in Barranquilla, Colombia. Since he did not return to Cuba after leaving Japan, he will not likely play for Cuba in the 2023 Pan American Games or the 2026 World Baseball Classic.

Revilla will head to the Dominican Republic to begin finding a new professional baseball contract, according to sources close to Francys Romero.

The Chunichi Dragons Farm League team (32-66-9) will play their next game on Wednesday, September 26, at midnight—ET against the Orix Buffaloes (62-49-9). The final day of the Eastern and Western League regular season is Sunday, October 1.

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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network