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September 3, 2014

Notes from the Field

Two Cubans Walk Onto A Field...

by Jeff Moore


There are innumerable adjustments players must make when defecting from Cuba in search of their major-league dream, but on Friday morning, on the back fields in the shadows of Roger Dean Stadium in south Florida, the weather was not one of them. The balmy heat and stifling humidity couldn’t have been much different from what Jozzen Cuesta and Misael Siverio were used to back in their native Cuba. The setting, however, was different, with more than 20 scouts in attendance who were eager to see the newest free agent talent but, after two hours, slightly disappointed by the pedestrian performances they saw.

Having each established citizenship in Mexico and residence in nearby Deerfield Beach, Cuesta and Siverio—both 25-year-old Cuban veterans—prepared for a workout that would dictate the next phase of their lives, as rookies in the American version of the game they know so well.

First up was Cuesta, a hulking behemoth who looks built to play first base in every sense, good and bad. Only 6-foot-2 (the only being by professional athlete standards) and listed at 220 lbs., Cuesta is chiseled and in prime physical condition. He struck an imposing presence on the field, clearly the one everyone was there to see. Even among others in their athletic primes, Cuesta stood out.

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Cuba

4 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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tlpacker

Really interesting report. Do you get nervous at all that these two players may not have shown all of their true talent that day? Obviously, you're trained to make the call on them one way or another, but how sure are you after one session? Thanks again!

Sep 03, 2014 03:32 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jeff Moore
BP staff

Not nervous, but you're right about the difficulty of getting just one short look at a player, especially without true game action. I'm not nearly as nervous as the teams that have to make million dollar decisions based on the same sample, though.

These showcases, however, are set up by the players themselves so they and their agents/handlers should design them to accentuate the player's strength and make them look their best. Anyone can have a bad day, but I would worry about a player who doesn't look good in a setting specifically designed to make them look good.

Sep 03, 2014 06:14 AM
 
tlpacker

That makes sense. Thanks for the reply!

Sep 03, 2014 08:30 AM
rating: 1
 
ofMontreal

Great writeup Jeff. I'm very curious now that there seems to be a working pipeline of Cuban talent. Does a players Series Nacional work factor much in a teams analysis going forward? Roenis Elias comes to mind as someone who didn't get a lot of attention but has held his own in the bigs. Would you say Siverio compares somewhat to him, maybe with less stuff?

Sep 03, 2014 17:50 PM
rating: 0
 
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