Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/4/13
The World Baseball Classic Cuban team guarantees to be a formidable one every time they compete.  Because of circumstances outside or the baseball realm, most baseball fans are relatively unaware that the Cuban baseball teams are often a collection of Major League quality superstars and at the very least, quality minor league talent.  The best Cuban players go through  quite a lot, just for the opportunity to become Major Leaguers.  But what if the Cuban World Baseball Classic team were able to field the best Cuban Major Leaguers as well as the top talent currently playing ball on their island?  That team, arguably, would be capable of easily beating the Dominican Republic, Venezuela or even the United States. Here is a list of notable Cuban players currently in the Major Leagues. 1B Yonder Alonso  SS Yuniesky Betancourt OF Yoenis Cespedes LHP Aroldis Chapman SS Yunel Escobar C Yasmani Grandal IF (#83 prospect) Adeiny Hechavarria RHP Livan Hernandez SS Jose Iglesias OF Leonys Martin 1B/DH Kendrys Morales C Brayan Pena SS Alexei Ramirez OF Dayan Viciedo OF Jorge Soler OF Yasiel Puig Not to mention, there’s an outside chance that Cuban 1B Jose Abreu could be one of the best power hitters in the world that no one has ever heard of.  Just imagine the Cubans rolling out a lineup featuring Cespedes, Alonso, Morales, Ramirez and Viciedo in it as well as a handful of the most heralded prospects in the world.  Sure, in this make believe world the United States could simply counter by putting a lineup featuring Trout, Braun, Hamilton, Posey and Kemp and then just shut everyone down with Verlander and Kershaw.  But at the same time, seeing this list of players, combined with the talent on the current Cuban roster (which they play very close to their vest to avoid Major League scouts from plucking away), it becomes apparent that Cuba is a baseball powerhouse, the likes of which we are just beginning to see.  Sure, Cuba has a history of great ball players that have come across the seas and seen success in America, but have we ever seen an influx of Cuban talent that sits on par with those that have come to America in the last five years?  And if that much talent has been willing and successful in fleeing Cuba, how many more are still on the island that we don’t know about?  [follow]
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