Naikel Cruz from Matanzas SIGNED as a professional with the Mexican Baseball League

By Antonio Palma Enseñat

This Wednesday the 61st National Baseball Series will close, however, not all the players will go home to rest, but some will continue to play in foreign leagues, which will affect their careers both professionally and economically.

Among them stands out the Matanzas prospect Naikel Cruz, a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher who will join the Piratas de Campeche of the Mexican Baseball League under contract, as announced on the Cuban television program Bola Viva.

Although it was not officially announced nor is there any information on the website of the Filibusteros, it was hinted by the director of the Cuban Baseball Federation Yovani Aragón that there was an agreement between the entity he represents and the league of the northern country for the arrival of the pitcher who is currently disputing the title of the National Series.

The young talent shows acceptable numbers in his three forays into the island’s main sports championship, since he has accumulated twelve wins and eight setbacks, with a high average of 4.67 ERA, has struck out 138 rivals, but has given away 108 free walks, evidently his pending subject, all this the 60 games in which he has seen action.

The man from Matanzas has as his main weapon a straight line that reaches 90 mph, in addition to having a respectable curve, which becomes uncomfortable when he enters with control. He will arrive in Campeche with the ambition of being part of the reliever corps of the pirate ship, where he will be able to feel the rigor of working as a professional and this may help him in his development as a pitcher. There he will join Pinar del Río Yoandi Cruz, who boarded the ship days ago.

Naikel Cruz has been one of the main pitchers for two of the last U23 Cuba teams, first he was a stronghold in the fourth place achieved in the World Championship last year and also participated in the subtitle achieved a few days ago in the Pan American of the category.

Piratas de Campeche has been an organization where several Cubans have participated in its little more than 40 years of history, not only players but also the coaching staff, among them the pitchers Pedro Luis Lazo, Adiel Palma and Armando Rivero, in addition to the players of position Ariel Pestano, Michel Enríquez, Yordanis Samón and Frederich Cepeda.

Three managers with plenty of road experience in the National Series, such as Jorge Fuentes, Miguel Borroto and Eduardo Martín, also offered their experiences from the bench.

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Naikel Cruz from Matanzas SIGNED as a professional with the Mexican Baseball League