On March 20th of this year, Ivan Prieto made history by making the decision to stay in Miami thus becoming the first Cuban in history to defect during the World Baseball Classic. A day before, the Cuban team had fallen by a 14-2 score versus their counterparts from the United States in the semifinals of the WBC, a clash that took place in a crowded loanDepot Park in the magic city.
“My decision was primarily for sports reasons, because I want to improve as player and try to play baseball at a higher level , so two years ago when I was in the Pre-Olympic I felt that my level of play was getting better. I started from the bottom and worked my through the whole system in Cuba. I actually felt that I was improving, I was already a starter in the National Series. I also had managed to make a Cuba team and I thought that my career on the rise. At the time of the WBC I felt like my career was starting stagnate a bit, because of how bad level of play in the National Series has gotten and I wanted to prove myself in a slightly higher level of baseball. That is the main reason why I decided to defect when the Classic ended.”, said Prieto to Pelota Cubana in his first interview on American soil a few days ago.
Preguntan porque @AChapman_105 ha recuperado su velocidad? Mi respuesta es su trabajo en la temporada muerta con el guru de pitcheo, Héctor Berrios. Pronto publicamos nuestra entrevista cándida con el profesor. #pelotacubana #WelcomeToTheCity pic.twitter.com/uLxrvh360h— Yusseff305 🇨🇺🇺🇲 (@yusseff305) April 4, 2023
He played seven seasons in the National Series in Cuba with Holguín (home province) and Granma. During that time he slashed .287/.386/.390/.766 , with 36 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs, 100 walks and 129 RBIs. He was a backup on the Cuban team in the 2021 Pre-Olympic in West Palm Beach.
“”I hadn’t decided on it, it just came up after being here in the United States, I thought about it, analyzed it, talked about it with my family and decided to make the decision based on what I explained to you before. Being able to play baseball at higher level, being able to play in professional baseball and being able to chase the dream that everyone has, which is to play in the majors. That sole reason inclined me to make this decision.” added the catcher born in Holguín about his reason decision to leave Cuba.
Two days ago we learned that Iván, via his representatives at Leona Sports, signed a contract with the Piratas de Campeche of the Mexican Baseball League for the 2024 season . Although he won’t see action in Aztec circuit this year, he already secures his contract for the future and the chance to prove himself in a professional circuit.