After winning the 2014-15 Serie Nacional championship last season, Ciego De Avila will represent Cuba in the Caribbean Series, which begins Feb. 1 in the Dominican Republic.
While it's technically Ciego De Avila playing in the tournament, the team will be heavily reinforced with top players from around the country, making it a hybrid of Ciego De Avila and the Cuban national team. While the national team has been decimated by players leaving the island in recent years, there will still be several players of interest to major league teams.
When the Cuban national team traveled to North Carolina last summer to prepare for the Pan American Games, two top players—infielder Luis Yander La O and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez—both left the team to pursue major league contracts. At last year's Caribbean Series in Puerto Rico, righthander Vladimir Gutierrez and shortstop Dainer Moreira both left the team as well.
The roster is listed below, with each player’s Serie Nacional team listed in parentheses if the player is a reinforcement from another club, along with analysis of the players for Baseball America subscribers.
Yosvani Alarcon (Las Tunas)
Frank Morejon (Industriales)
1B Ariel Borrero
1B Yorelvis Charles
2B/3B Raul Gonzalez
SS Yorbis Borroto
SS Yordan Manduley (Holguin)
3B Yeniet Perez
3B Yulieski Gurriel (Industriales)
SS/3B/OF Yurisbel Gracial (Matanzas)
Alfredo Despaigne (Granma)
Lourdes Gurriel (Industriales)
Guillermo Aviles (Granma)
Stayler Hernandez (Industriales)
Livan Moinelo (Pinar Del Rio)
Vladimir Banos (Pinar Del Rio)
Yaifredo Dominguez (Pinar Del Rio)
Yoanni Yera (Matanzas)
Wilber Perez (La Isla De La Juventud)
Miguel Lahera (Artemisa)
Jose Angel Garcia (Holguin)