Only One of the 20 U-15 Cuban Players Who Won Silver in the 2022 World Cup Remains in Cuba
With the departure from Cuba on January 26 of the prospective pitcher Yordan Rodríguez, only one of the members of the under-15 baseball team that attended the World Cup of that category in 2022, held in the State of Sonora, Mexico, remains on the Island.
According to journalist Francys Romero, the athlete traveled to the Dominican Republic where he seeks to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball organization [MLB]. Rodríguez, a native of the province of Guantánamo, has an excellent physical condition: a height of 6 ’4? and pitches that reach 89 mph.
Yordan Rodríguez, in the last U-15 Championship in Cuba, offered a no-hitter, and some time after the World Cup he led the pitchers of his category in strikeouts (58). In addition, he averaged 2.66 effectiveness.
The massive exodus of the members of the team that won the silver medal in the 2022 event deals a severe blow to the future of national sports in Cuba, by directly undermining its reserve of young players. Just three days ago, 14ymedio published the departure from the Island of outfielder Maikol Rodríguez, also to the Dominican Republic.
Romero explains that the figures for this team represent “something unprecedented.” In just 14 months, 95% of the roster has left the country (19 out of 20 players). “Previously, almost all the national teams had players in lower categories who left, but not in such a short period of time or in such a high percentage as that of this Cuba U-15 of 2022,” adds the sports journalist.
In the text The dream and reality. Stories of the emigration of Cuban baseball (1960-2018), Romero says that every year the average age of the baseball players who leave the Island decreases. The average age was 24.4 years in 2015; three years later it was reduced to 17.9.
With his departure from the Island, Yordan Rodríguez joins the list of former members of his team who left Cuba with the aspiration to enter the MLB and thus improve their economic and professional training conditions.
Until the 25th, in addition to Maikol Rodríguez, the following members of the U-15 team had left Cuba: Alejandro Cruz, Mailon Batista, Robier Hernández, Alex Santiago, Pedro Danguillecourt, Jaider Suárez, Dulieski Ferrán, Ernest Machado, Yosniel Menéndez, Roberto Peña, Segian Pérez, Alejandro Prieto, Danel Reyes, Ronald Terrero, Jonathan Valle, Yunior Villavicencio and Cristian Zamora. Only the catcher, Yaidel Ruíz, has remained in the country.
Translated by Regina Anavy