Chunichi inks two Cuban prospects.

This Monday, September 11, the Cuban Baseball Federation announced that Carlos Alberto Monier Torres and Christian Leandro Rodríguez García have reached an agreement in principle with the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon League to enter the franchise’s development program.

In 2023, a total of eight players saw action via the Cuban Federation Japan, while Omar Linares also served as coach for Chunichi. The athletes were Liván Moinelo and Alfredo Despaigne with the Soft Bank Hawks; Raidel Martínez, Pedro Pablo Revilla, Guillermo García and Frank Abel Álvarez with the Chunichi Dragons; and Yasel Pérez with Tokushima Indigo Socks, from the Shikoku Island League Plus.

Monier and Rodríguez were part of the Cuban U-23 team that finished tenth in the World Cup in 2022. The Santiago native averaged .235, with a double, triple and an RBI during the competition, while the Villa Clara native was selected as the All-tournament shortstop, hitting .368 , with an extra-base double and two RBIs. On defense he made no errors in 31 attempts, made 17 assists and recorded four double plays.

Rodríguez (21 years old) and Monier (22 years old) will have a valuable opportunity to better themselves as players and develop on the farm with the Dragons. Rodríguez is who is a defensive wizard also makes good contact at plate. Monier on the other hand is a power hitter in all senses of the word.

Their performances in the minors will determine their future in professional baseball and with the ballclub. In this coming season the two Cubans will have to adapt to an NPB that is a step up in competition from the accustomed Serie Nacional. How they adapt remains to be seen, but Chunichi has a good track record in developing talent, Raidel Martínez, Ariel Martínez and Yariel Rodríguez are a testament to that.

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