Cuba has long been considered a huge untapped baseball hub. In Cuba, baseball is the main sport where they have their own professional league, the “Serie Nacional,” which has 16 teams that play 90 games each per season.

We have all seen the movie “Major League” where Pedro Cerrano, the Indians’ Cuban slugger, can only hit fastballs. For many years, it was thought that players who spent their key development years in Cuba couldn’t handle the Major Leagues, that players from Cuba could not compete with the better pitching in MLB and definitely couldn’t hit the good breaking pitches.

This all seemed to change when the Oakland A’s signed the Yoenis Cespedes to an unprecedented four-year, $36 million contract. Everyone disputed if Cespedes would be able to come over and be a successful hitter in the MLB. If you have a chance, check out the videos of him doing workouts and you will truly see how strong Cespedes actually is. Cespedes is now one of the premier power hitters and an All-Star in 2014.

Cespedes’ success in the majors opened the floodgates and increased the demand for young Cuban stars. Players such as Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman and Yasiel Puig are all examples of Cuban players succeeding at the highest level. With many more on the way thanks to improved relations between the United States and Cuba, we could see a huge influx in Cuban talent.

Young Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada recently set the record for the highest bonus ever given an international amateur, potential sparking the idea of an international draft. With more and more talent leaving Cuba, Major League teams have been breaking the bank to have these very exciting and athletic players on their team.

The Dodgers lead the pack in this area, signing five Cuban players in the past three years. Below is a depth chart of the players who are playing professionally in MLB or MiLB. To qualify, the player must have defected from Cuba and signed as a free agent. This makes players like Jose Fernandez and Yonder Alonso not eligible to be on this depth chart.

Pitchers

  • Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
    • Defected: 2009
    • Signed By: Cincinnati Reds, six years, $30.25 million
    • Achievements:
      • Fastest pitch ever recorded: 105 MPH
      • 2012, 2013, 2014 All-Star
      • 2012 eighth place in Cy Young and 12th in MVP voting
      • Baseball America 2010 #22 prospect, 2011 #7 prospect
  • Gerardo Concepción, Chicago Cubs
    • Defected: 2011
    • Signed By: Chicago Cubs, five years, $6 million
    • Achievements: 2010-2011 Cuban Rookie of the Year
  • Odrisamer Despaigne, San Diego Padres
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: San Diego Padres, Minor League deal, $1 million signing bonus
    • Achievements: Pitched 7 2/3 no-hit innings against the New York Mets
  • Roenis Elías, Seattle Mariners
    • Defected: 2010
    • Signed By: Mariners, Minor League deal
    • Achievements: Started 29 games in 2014 and struck out 143 in 163 innings
  • Pablo Millan Fernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Defected: 2014
    • Signed By: Dodgers, Minor League deal, $8 million dollar signing bonus
    • Achievements: Low-90s fastball, four off speed pitches
  • Miguel Alfredo González, Philadelphia Phillies
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Phillies, three years, $12 million
    • Achievements: Struck out 54 in 46 innings in 2014
  • Dalier Hinojosa, Boston Red Sox
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Red Sox, Minor League deal, $4 million signing bonus
    • Achievements: Pitched a 7-inning mercy rule perfect game against Sri Lanka in the 2010 World University Baseball Championship
  • Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Reds, seven years, $27 million
    • Achievements: 2015 #58 Baseball America Prospect
  • Omar Luis, New York Yankees
    • Defected: 2011
    • Signed By: Yankees, Minor League deal, $4 million signing bonus
    • Achievements: 89-95 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup

Catchers

  • Yenier Bello, Atlanta Braves
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Braves, Minor League deal
    • Achievements: The best Cuban catcher from 2008-2011

First Base

  • Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: White Sox, six years, $68 million
    • Achievements: 2014 All-Star, fourth in MVP voting, Rookie of the year, Silver Slugger award winner
  • Kendrys Morales, Kansas City Royals
    • Defected: 2004
    • Signed By: Angles, six years, $3 million
    • Achievements: fifth in MVP voting in 2006, Cuban rookie of the year in 2002

Second Base

  • Roberto Baldoquin, Los Angeles Angels
    • Defected: 2014
    • Signed By: Angels, seven years, Minor League deal, $8 million signing bonus
    • Achievements: Praised for excellent defensive ability
  • Alexander Guerrero, Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Dodgers, four years, $28 million
    • Achievements: 2010-2011 Cuban All-Star
  • Yoan Moncada, Boston Red Sox
    • Defected: 2014
    • Signed By: Red Sox, Minor League deal, $31.5 million signing bonus ($63 million including tax)
    • Achievements: Set the record for highest international bonus, first player to leave Cuba with permission of government
  • Héctor Olivera, Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Defected: 2015
    • Signed By: Dodgers, six years, $62.5 million
    • Achievements: Won the silver medal at 2008 Summer Olympics,

Third Base

  • Yasmany Tomás, Arizona Diamondbacks
    • Defected: 2014
    • Signed By: D-Backs, six years, $68.5 million
    • Achievements: Total career stats in Cuba are 39 home runs, 247 hits and 51 RBIs in 272 games

Shortstop

  • Erisbel Arruebarrena, Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Dodgers, five years, $25 million
    • Achievements: Played in 2013 World Baseball Classic
  • Yuniesky Betancourt, Milwaukee Brewers
    • Defected: 2005
    • Signed By: Seattle Mariners
    • Achievements: Has 29 career triples, 1057 career hits
  • Aledmys Díaz, St. Louis Cardinals
    • Defected: 2012
    • Signed By: Cardinals, four years, $8 million
    • Achievements: 2011-2012 batted .315 in Cuba
  • Adeiny Hechavarria, Miami Marlins
    • Defected: 2009
    • Signed By: Toronto, four years, $10 million
    • Achievements: defensive wizard
  • José Iglesias, Detroit Tigers
    • Defected: 2008
    • Signed By: Red Sox, four years, $8.25 million
    • Achievements: Finished second in rookie of the year voting 2013
  • Alexei Ramírez, Chicago White Sox
    • Defected: 2007
    • Signed By: White Sox, four years, $6,311,666
    • Achievements:
      • 2014 All-Star
      • 2014 Silver Slugger
      • 2010 Silver Slugger
      • 2008 second in Rookie of the Year

Outfielders

  • Dariel Alvarez, Baltimore Orioles
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Orioles, Minor League deal
    • Achievements: Played in 2014 futures games
  • Daniel Carbonell, San Francisco Giants
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Giants, four years, $3.175 million
    • Achievements: Great arm
  • Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit Tigers
    • Defected: 2012
    • Signed by: Oakland A’s, four years, $36 million
    • Achievements:
      • Three years of 20-plus home runs
      • 2014 all-star
      • Second place in 2012 Rookie of the Year voting
      • 2013, 2014 Home Run Derby champion
  • Rusney Castillo, Boston Red Sox
    • Defected: 2013
    • Signed By: Red Sox, seven years, $72.5 million
    • Achievements: Biggest contract signed by a Cuban player
  • Adonis García, New York Yankees
    • Defected: 2011
    • Signed By: Yankees, Minor League deal
    • Achievements: Batted .355 in 2008-2009 Cuban league
  • Leonys Martín, Texas Rangers
    • Defected: 2010
    • Signed By: Rangers, five years, $15.5 million
    • Achievements: 2013-2014 30+ stolen bases
  • Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
    • Defected: 2012
    • Signed By: Dodgers, seven years, $42 million
    • Achievements: 2014 All-Star, 2013 second in Rookie of the Year voting
  • Jorge Soler, Chicago Cubs
    • Defected: 2011
    • Signed By: Cubs, nine years, $30 million
    • Achievements: 2015 #22 prospect Baseball America
  • Dian Toscano, Atlanta Braves
    • Defected: 2014
    • Signed By: Braves, four years, $6 million
    • Achievements: Batted .356 in 2012-2013
  • Henry Urrutia, Baltimore Orioles
    • Defected: 2011
    • Signed By: Orioles, Minor League deal
    • Achievements: Batted .320 in spring training this year
  • Dayán Viciedo, Toronto Blue Jays
    • Defected: 2008
    • Signed By: White Sox, four years, $10 million
    • Achievements: Hit 25 home runs in 2012, started playing professionally at the age of 15 in Cuba

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