Roberquis Videaux, outfielder from Guantanamo province.
|The Top Prospects photo gallery includes many of Cuba’s established stars and emerging athletes of today. We’ve chosen a sampling of these players. This is by no means an exhaustive collection but it does include some of the most talked-about players in Cuba.
This section includes pitchers Jonder Martinez, Vicyohandry Odelin, and Norberto Gonzalez as well as big hitters Joan Carlos Pedroso, Yulieski Gourriel, Frederich Cepeda, Osmani Urrutia, Michel Enriquez, and Roberquis Videaux.
Baseball fans in North America rarely have an opportunity to see Cuban players in action. The last time Cubans competed in the United States was during the semi-finals and finals of the I World Baseball Classic in March of 2006. Team Cuba lost 10-6 to an excellent Japanese team.
Before that was in May of 1999 when they defeated the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game at Camden Yards and during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, where they won the gold medal.
In Canada, fans saw a strong Cuban team in September 2002, where they took first place at the World Baseball Challenge, in the community of Grand Forks, British Columbia.
Other than that, the last time Team Cuba competed in Canada was at the 1999 Pan-Am games in Winnipeg and in the summer of 1995, at the Americas Baseball Challenge – a pre-Olympic qualifying event held in Edmonton.
In August of 2004 Team Cuba appeared in Athens to win the gold medal in Olympic baseball. Fans were able to see stellar performance from top prospects including Eriel Sanchez, Yulieski Gourriel, and pitchers Danny Betancourt and Norberto Gonzalez. Other prospects appearing on Cuba’s Olympic roster included pitcher Luis Borroto, infielder Yorelvis Charles, infield/outfielder Alexei Ramirez (now a Chicago White Sox starter) and outflielder Yoandry
By the time Cuba competed in the 2005 World Cup in Holland a new group of players emerged included pitchers Yadier Pedroso, Yuliesky Gonzalez and Yunieski Maya. And any appeared on Team Cuba’s roster at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Colombia in late 2004, including pitchers Valeri Garcia and Deinis Suarez and hitter Yordanis Scull.
By the 2008 Olympics and the II World Baseball Classis in 2009 other names solidified themselves on the international scene including lefthanded pitcher Aroldis Chapman, and speedy hitters Alfredo Despaigne, Hector Olivera, and Yoennis
There are many more prospects than appear in these photo galleries. The small Caribbean nation continues to develop strong teams for national and international fans alike. And who knows, there could be another Omar Linares, Antonio Pacheco or German Mesa in the making!