BEST MOMENTS of Cuban baseball in 2021 (TOP 6 to 4)

By Jesús Alaín Fernández /@ JesusLCA2017

Following with the Top 10 started in recent days Today we will visit seats six through three. Recapping the top of the table, Raúl Valdés and his Olympic medal with the Dominican, Aroldis and Raisel, the Cubans in Japan (Viciedo, Leonys and Rangel Ravelo) and the Antillean dominance in the KBO.

Today we will be touring another three seats.

6- Yuli Gurriel, an outstanding leader

Only once has a player age 37 or older won a major league batting title. It was nothing more and nothing less than Barry Bonds in 2004. But 2021 brought a more than pleasant surprise. Yulieski, the elder of the two brothers of the Gurriel family who today play in the Big Top, achieved a dream season.

“El Yuli” hit .319 with 169 hits, 31 doubles, 15 home runs and 83 runs scored with 81 RBIs. His OPS + was 131 (.846) and for his results he was selected as a candidate for the Gold Glove and Silver Bate Awards, taking home the first of the awards.

The Astros first baseman was coming off a cut season with the worst numbers of his major league career (.658 OPS and 77 OPS +). When it seemed that it was going to be time to say goodbye, he did his best version of “El Renacido” to win the American League batting title.

Only one Cuban had accomplished the feat before, Tony Oliva in 1971.

Yuli has left her name written among the greats for eternity.

5- A Rookie of the Year nicknamed “Mr. Cuban October

Randy Arozarena became the sixth Cuban to win the Rookie of the Year Award, and the fourth to do so since 2013 to date.

Did you get the numbers? In the last nine seasons, Cuba has had Rookie of the Year in four of them.

Randy obtained 22 votes and won, among others, also Cuban José Adolis García. His .812 OPS (131 OPS +) with a .274 batting average, 20 home runs, 94 runs scored, 20 stolen bases were enough credentials to turn favoritism into fact.

Randy proved in a full season that what he showed in the 2020 postseason was not a mirage. The Cuban put up consistent numbers and once again used his “lucky boots” to conquer the public and connoisseurs of good baseball. The Cuban Mr. October seems to have come to steal the show at the Big Top for some time.

4- Year of nominees and winners to the All-MLB Team

2021 saw the third edition of the award given to the best players by position in all of the Major Leagues. Among the nominees were nine Cubans (Yuli Gurriel, José Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Yasmany Grandal, José Adolis García, Randy Arozarena, Yordan Álvarez, Raisel Iglesias and Aroldis Chapman)

Those born on the island were the third nationality with the highest number of nominees, surpassed by the United States (68) and the Dominican Republic (10). After Cuba, Puerto Rico was placed with three players.

And the party is greater if we consider that two of them, Raisel Iglesias (34 SV) and Yordan Álvarez (.277, 33 HR, 104 RBIs, 92 R and OPS + of 136) were chosen for the second selected team.

After these three positions we come to the selection of places of honor. It’s nice to make a list in a year full of great results, great moments and performances. Soon we will be back with the three above.

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BEST MOMENTS of Cuban baseball in 2021 (TOP 6 to 4)