Cuba has released their roster through their state-run Latina Prensa.
Here’s how it looks:
Catchers: Yulexis La Rosa, Frank Camilo Morejon and Eriel Sanchez.
Infielders: José Dariel Abreu, Luis Felipe Rivera, José Miguel Fernández, Andy Ibañez, Yulieski Gourriel and Barbaro Arrebarruena.
Outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Rusney Castillo, Alexei Bell, Guillermo Hernandez Heredia and Yadiel Hernandez.
Pitchers: Freddy Asiel Alvarez, Ismel Jimenez, Raciel Iglesias, Odrisamer Despaigne, Norberto Gonzalez, Darien Nuñez, Wilber Perez, Yulieski Gonzalez, Vladimir Garcia, Alexander Rodriguez, Danny Betancourt, Vichyoandri Odelín and Yander Guevara.
Manager: Victor Mesa
Head Coach: Jorge Fuentes
Now, you might not recognize many of those names, since they are all part of the state-run Cuban league (where everyone is technically an amateur), so here are some you should know about:
Yulieski Gourriel is probably the best known of this group, an infielder (primarily 3B) who, especially when he was younger, would have MLB teams fighting for the rights to sign him if they could. He hit .273 in the 2006 WBC and .333 in the 2009 edition, where he also hit two home runs.
Alfredo Despaigne is another veteran of past WBCs, an outfielder who played for Cuba in 2009. He holds the Cuban National Series (the aforementioned “amateur” league) record for home runs, which he set when he hit 36 in the 2011-2012 season.
Amongst the pitchers, a name to watch is Ismel Jimenez, a right-handed veteran of the ’09 Classic who currently leads the Cuban National Series in strikeouts this season.
More WBC news as it comes out.