In the last few hours, our Pelota Cubana team has learned from various sources that another Cuban talent has left the island for the Dominican Republic. In Cuba, baseball talent grows on trees, but with the economic problems the country is facing, the parents themselves manage to secure a way out for their talened children. In these days and time they cannot afford to wait and leave through the proper channels and waste their children’s immense talents, their economic future depends on the proper timing.
For the reasons parents and their children risk their lives traveling across the Caribbean sea in search of the opportunity try to sign with a major league ball club via the Dominican Republic.
Do you remember the injured pitcher that Cuba used in the Junior World Cup Qualfier Venezuela that cost the pass to the title discussion? Yes, Danel Reyes from Las Tunas, is the latest player to leave the country and will seek to sign a professional contract. Reyes is from the class of 2007, the same that class that was the bronze medalist in the U-12 World Cup (2019) in Taipei and runner-up in the U-15 (2022) World Baseball Cup Qualfier in Mexico.
In that 2015 World Cup in Mexico (August 26-September 4, 2022) he was selected to the all-tournament team. Reyes pitched in five games, earned two wins, lost one, posted an earned run average of 1.50 (2 ER, 9.1 IP), issued four walks and struck out nine.
Fuentes le confirman a @pelotacubanausa que Danel Reyes, lanzador que participó en el último Mundial Sub15 y fue nombrado en el Todos Estrellas, salió de Cuba para buscar un contrato profesional. El 50% de ese equipo ya no está en el país. pic.twitter.com/wJuaGWTwf2— Yordano Carmona (@YordiMLB) April 10, 2023
During the month of June in the World Cup Qualfier in Venezuela, he had a 3.36 ERA, allowing three earned runs in 8.1 innings of work, gave up three bases on balls and retired four via the strike out. With Danel’s departure, a total of ten players out of the 20 that made up the Cuba U-15 team have left the country.
A list that also includes Ronald Elías Terrero, Cristian Zamora, Alejandro Prieto, Segian Pérez, Ernest Machado, Dulieski Ferrán, Alex Acosta, Jonathan Valle and Yosniel Menéndez. This list will probably continue to increase in the near future, for the moment 50% of that team is no longer on the island.
Historically in Cuba the U-15 teams have the largest percentage of players who defect to sign a professional contracts. At age for some reason the exodus is the grandest, it might have something to do with the fact that the MLB International Free Agent market that covets 16 year old prospects. Many of these kids do not even bother to play in the Cuban National Series due to the fact that not only does not financially benefit them, but it also stunts their development.
Talents such as the likes of Yordan Álvarez, Luis Robert, Johan Oviedo, Miguel Vargas, Adrián Morejón, Loidel Chapellí, Víctor Mesa Jr., Malcom Núñez, Edgar Quero and Dyan Yamel Jorge have participated with Cuba in these such tournaments and then decided to leave the island in their teens .