Yuli Gurriel: ” Making an All-Star Game would make everything come full circle.”

Yulieski Gurriel is a player who is a polarizing figure to a multitude of Cuban fans, he has plenty of followers as well as detractors. In 2023, at the age of 39 , he is in his eighth season in MLB, but this year will be different because his role as a the face of a ballclub such as he was in Houston, is no more. But as of late the Cuban has been a sparkplug for the Miami Marlins in their 34-28 start.

Despite not having a good Spring Training, due to the fact he signed with the club late into preseason the native of Sancti Spíritus,Cuba earned a roster spot with the fish. Gurriel who will be used primarily as a first baseman or a DH for the rest of the season is hitting a solid .283 with three homeruns and 13 runs batted in only 145 trips to the plate , the Cuban has been a stabilizing force for Miami’s lineup.

This offseason Gurriel trained very hard and primarily with his brother, Yunieski and it has shown with his hitting as of late. In his last 15 games the first baseman is hitting a robust .339 and finding his stride at the perfect time with Miami.

You have earned the first base position based mostly on your hitting. How has the work you did with your brother in the offseason helped you?

Working with my brother was quite helpful, quite specific. We’ve been working together for two offseasons now, it has helped me a lot. I think it has been a fundamental part of my career and that of my other brother (Lourdes) as well.

Your brother Yunieski was a great player in Cuba, he selected to an All-Star Game, had 1000 hits and even won a batting title in the CanAm league. In your opinion, was he underappreciated as a baseball player?

Yes, he was, because many times people saw him more for what he did with his glove and they forgot about his bat. He was able to take over a game with his bat as well. I think that batting title in the Can-Am League cemented his place as a good hitter.

In your career you have hit three epic home runs. One in a Caribbean Series, another in the World Classic and one in the World Series as well. Which of them moved you the most?

All three have moved me a lot. The one of the World Classic was very significant, it was the first time that Cuba participated in a an event with MLB players, and it really moved me a lot when I homered off a major league pitcher, but I think that the one I hit off Kershaw in my first World Series was the one that filled me with the most emotion. –

You’ve won a batting title, a Gold Glove, even a World Series. Is there anything left for Yuli Gurriel to win that would complete his career?

Well, the goal is always to better myself. There are always goals left to achieve. I think making an All-Star Game would make everything come full circle, I was very close in 2021. I thought I had the numbers to make a couple of All-Star Games, but things didn’t work out. An All-Star is something that is definitely still pending in my list of goals.

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