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  • Differences in Cuban Game (v US)

    Read this article at Baseball American and was wondering if it was accurate and what you guys think:

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/inter...uban-baseball/

    Describes:
    -almost no one throws 95+
    -conversely hitters don't see 95+ busting in on them, allowing bigger looping swings
    -talent pool is low, which is to be expected
    -some starters also make relief appearances
    -managers are quick to pull pitchers
    -strong throwing catchers and good base stealers are a rarity
    -pitchers are much more likely to tinker (showing different looks) with their deliveries to confuse hitters

  • #2
    Back in 2005 Basebal Prospectus' Clay Davenport researched the quality of Cuban baseball and he concluded that it was about the level of the New York-Penn League. The Cuban baseball experts here at BBF vehemently disagreed with that assessment.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...articleid=3794
    ************************************************** ***********
    The difficulty rating is the ratio between what a run is worth in this league and what it is worth in the major leagues. A player who produced 100 runs in Cuba, even after allowing for the offensive level of the league, would only be expected to produce 45.6 runs in the majors. The closest American league to that level of play is the New York-Penn League, which over the last four years has averaged a .436 rating. The next one above it would be the Midwest League, which has averaged .484 over the last four years.

    So yes, I am saying that the top Cuban league is about equal, skill-wise, to the New York-Penn league. I'm sure that will come as a shock to many, seeing as how highly everyone regards the players on that particular island, but it does go a long way towards explaining why so many Cuban players have performed so poorly--our expectations were too high.

    On the other hand, it shouldn't be so surprising. However baseball-mad the populace may be, the island is only home to 11.5 million people, about the same as Ohio, and they are supplying a league of 16 teams. Compare that to the similarly baseball-crazy Dominican Republic, whose winter league grades at Double-A level or maybe even a touch higher. The Dominicans have a population a little over nine million themselves, staffing a league of only six teams, and they allow non-Dominicans to play. Leaving out the non-Dominicans, the D.R. has twice as many people per team as Cuba; count them, and the ratio goes up even farther.

    ************************************************** ************

    I am certainly NOT an expert on Cuban baseball. Perhaps some of the BBF Cuban experts can address this. There was a good discussion about Davenport's finding in this thread.

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...ball-Structure

    Some valid points were made about how a lot of the Cubans that come over are older and often past their prime. Today, that is not the case as Cespedes, Puig, and Abreu and many of the other Cuban defectors are in their early 20's or mid 20's.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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    • #3
      Cuba has high quality baseball but it just doesn't have high quantity. Living in the 90s in Miami the cuban community always said our pitchers are all like Roger Clemens and are 9th batters would be batting 4th in MLB.

      The WBC has proved this isn't true. Cuba's main focus was its national team. So it would create a super team full of players who could play at MLB level and some have. But it cannot field 8 teams full of MLB players. The league there is different, the schedule, the style and the pace is all different from MLB.

      There is high quality talent in Cuba but it is a different style of game. For example Chapman is a reliever in MLB but in Cuba he was a starter. As a starter in MLB Chapman would struggle so relief is a ideal position. Same for Pedro Lazo a starter for a Serie Nacional team but a reliever for the National Team. And I am sure Lazo would be a reliever at best at MLB.

      Again I have heard the cuban myth all my life living in Miami and Venezuela and having been to Cuba. But the truth is they are a very good baseball country but they don't have the numbers to have MLB caliber teams. They do have MLB caliber players but their league is probably double AA at best.

      We have seen since 2008 the cuban national team struggle in international competition. They couldn't win in the 2008 olympics though it was a very close game and a bad call hurt them, 2009 classic they lost in the second round to Japan a team who they have defeated several times. I am sure Japan has lost to Cuba more but then Cuba to Japan. And most recently the 2013 classic Cuba lost to the Dutch who played a great game against them. Maybe the best game I saw in that WBC.

      Cuba is still a baseball power but now slowly we are starting to realise the more Cuba gets into the world of baseball the harder it is going to get.

      I went to the WBC 2009 in Japan. I remember talking to a friend of mine about Japan beating Cuba twice when in the past Cuba won 33 out of 38 matches against Japan. He said Japan is winning because "we have ichiro". Obviously it is not just Ichiro but I think he meant now we have our best against cuba's best. Before Cuba never faced the best of the Japan.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by quinnystar27 View Post
        Cuba has high quality baseball but it just doesn't have high quantity. Living in the 90s in Miami the cuban community always said our pitchers are all like Roger Clemens and are 9th batters would be batting 4th in MLB.

        The WBC has proved this isn't true. Cuba's main focus was its national team. So it would create a super team full of players who could play at MLB level and some have. But it cannot field 8 teams full of MLB players. The league there is different, the schedule, the style and the pace is all different from MLB.

        There is high quality talent in Cuba but it is a different style of game. For example Chapman is a reliever in MLB but in Cuba he was a starter. As a starter in MLB Chapman would struggle so relief is a ideal position. Same for Pedro Lazo a starter for a Serie Nacional team but a reliever for the National Team. And I am sure Lazo would be a reliever at best at MLB.

        Again I have heard the cuban myth all my life living in Miami and Venezuela and having been to Cuba. But the truth is they are a very good baseball country but they don't have the numbers to have MLB caliber teams. They do have MLB caliber players but their league is probably double AA at best.

        We have seen since 2008 the cuban national team struggle in international competition. They couldn't win in the 2008 olympics though it was a very close game and a bad call hurt them, 2009 classic they lost in the second round to Japan a team who they have defeated several times. I am sure Japan has lost to Cuba more but then Cuba to Japan. And most recently the 2013 classic Cuba lost to the Dutch who played a great game against them. Maybe the best game I saw in that WBC.

        Cuba is still a baseball power but now slowly we are starting to realise the more Cuba gets into the world of baseball the harder it is going to get.

        I went to the WBC 2009 in Japan. I remember talking to a friend of mine about Japan beating Cuba twice when in the past Cuba won 33 out of 38 matches against Japan. He said Japan is winning because "we have ichiro". Obviously it is not just Ichiro but I think he meant now we have our best against cuba's best. Before Cuba never faced the best of the Japan.
        If Cuba had MLB academies similar to the DR and Venezuela then there would probably be 60-80 Cubans playing in MLB easily.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Richard View Post
          If Cuba had MLB academies similar to the DR and Venezuela then there would probably be 60-80 Cubans playing in MLB easily.
          If normal relations between Cuba and US ever happens do you think MLB would set up academies similar to the academies in the DR and Venezuela?
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
            If normal relations between Cuba and US ever happens do you think MLB would set up academies similar to the academies in the DR and Venezuela?
            That depends on what the Cuban government's view of the economic system is if and when that time comes. If they're still of a socialist/communist bent, I'd think the government wouldn't be very receptive. if they're protectionist, they'd also be likely to be unreceptive. If it's more free market oriented, they might well approve.
            Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
            Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
            A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jalbright View Post
              That depends on what the Cuban government's view of the economic system is if and when that time comes. If they're still of a socialist/communist bent, I'd think the government wouldn't be very receptive. if they're protectionist, they'd also be likely to be unreceptive. If it's more free market oriented, they might well approve.
              I was going by the assumption that the US embargo of Cuba would only be lifted if Cuba adopts a representative government and a free market system. I can't imagine the US lifting the embargo with the current Communist regime still in power.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                I was going by the assumption that the US embargo of Cuba would only be lifted if Cuba adopts a representative government and a free market system. I can't imagine the US lifting the embargo with the current Communist regime still in power.
                But you could get a representative government with either a socialistic or protectionist outlook, which would still present high and maybe insurmountable hurdles for the academy idea. As we've seen in other places in the world, getting a different government, even if elected by the people, doesn't mean it's exactly what we expected.
                Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Richard View Post
                  If Cuba had MLB academies similar to the DR and Venezuela then there would probably be 60-80 Cubans playing in MLB easily.
                  the cuban government doesn't want cuban players to play in the MLB.

                  as for the game it seems like almost all of the imported cuban players have big power and strong arms but they often don't have a good approach and try to swing for home runs.
                  I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dominik View Post
                    the cuban government doesn't want cuban players to play in the MLB.

                    as for the game it seems like almost all of the imported cuban players have big power and strong arms but they often don't have a good approach and try to swing for home runs.
                    The cuban government is still against the capitalist ideology of the US. Yet cuban sports community supports it's players going to MLB. They don't like defection but they do like success in MLB.

                    Cuba probably won't be open to MLB academies if the embargo is lifted because sports are a excellent way for cubans to be distracted. But I am sure cuba will be open to letting players go or at least the sports community will support them.

                    If cuba lifts the embargo they will not want to be treated like a developmental league or a winter league but as a top level baseball league as the same standing as Japan and US leagues.

                    Speaking as a former scout who spoke to cuban coaches here in Venezuela. They fully support their players leaving for MLB success. Even the manager of the cuban national team said he would have liked to play MLB and regrets not having the opportunity

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                      I was going by the assumption that the US embargo of Cuba would only be lifted if Cuba adopts a representative government and a free market system. I can't imagine the US lifting the embargo with the current Communist regime still in power.
                      Given that US has diplomatic relations and trade with plenty of countries that lack either or both of these characteristics, it should be obvious that the Cuba embargo is maintained for less principled political reasons.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pere View Post
                        Given that US has diplomatic relations and trade with plenty of countries that lack either or both of these characteristics, it should be obvious that the Cuba embargo is maintained for less principled political reasons.
                        Of course. Who knows if Cuba had huge oil deposits or mineral deposits, American companies probably never would have left?
                        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-18-2014, 07:22 PM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          cuban Baseball has really risen up in the last years in the MLB. not a lot of Players but some huge stars. abreu and Puig are MVP candidate caliber Players and soler Projects to be a Superstar too. Boston also got a new big cuban prospect and then there is cespedes who is not that great of a hitter but has big power and a spectacular arm. there are a lot of failed cuban Players too though.
                          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                          Comment

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