The first American Baseball Champions League begins tomorrow. Cuba will be represented by Granma
A new concept in baseball, the Baseball Champions League features teams from around the world representing their clubs, cities, and fans
Baseball's first-ever international tournament of champions will be played in Mérida, Yucatán, México, from September 28 to October 1, with the participation of league champions from Colombia, Cuba, México and USA. All seven games will be played at Parque Kukulcán Alamo Stadium in Mérida.
In 2023, the Americas Baseball Champions League is an invitational event, but in the future, it will move to a league format and include other continents.
The participating teams are Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, champions of the American Association of Professional Baseball (an official Partner League of Major League Baseball); Alazanes de Granma, the Cuban National League champions; Caimanes de Barranquilla, winners of the Colombian Baseball League; and hosts Leones de Yucatán, LMB champions 2022.
The Cuban National League (Serie Nacional or National Series) will be represented by Los Alazanes de Granma.
In the eastern part of Cuba, the Alazanes de Granma are based in Bayamo, the capital of the province of Granma.
Since their debut in 1977-78, they have participated in 46 Cuban National League campaigns. With four titles in the last seven editions, including the championship in 2022, they became one of the most successful teams of the decade. As Granma's manager, Carlos Martí led the team to all of its titles. In the American Baseball Champions League, Granma will be led by Leonardo Soto.
The Granma team added 15 players from other Cuban National League teams, including five players who won the 2023 championship with Las Tunas: pitchers Keniel Ferráz and Alberto Pablo Civil, catcher Yosvany Alarcón, infielder Yordanis Alarcón, and outfielder Héctor Castillo.
Granma's roster for the 2023 American Baseball Champions League
Pitchers (12): Leandro Martínez Figueredo, Carlos Santana Santiesteban, Kelbis Rodríguez León, Miguel Paradelo, Yunier Castillo, Raymond Figueredo Cruz (IND), Yanielquis Duardo Rojas (SSP), Alberto Pablo Civil Hidalgo (LTU), Wilber Reyna Lanchazo (STG), Juan Xavier Peñalver Hernández (IND), Erly Casanova Callaba (PRI) y Keniel Ferraz Pérez (LTU).
Catchers (2): Yosvani Alarcón Tardío (LTU) and Yúnior Ibarra Areque (SSP).
Infielders (9): Guillermo Avilés Difurnó, Osvaldo Abreu Sánchez, Yulián Milán Santos, Pedro Almeida Yosvani Millán, Yordanis Samón Matamoros (CMG), Aníbal Medina Pérez (MTZ), Andrés de La Cruz Matos (GTM) y Yordanis Alarcón Tardío (LTU).
Outfielders (5): Darián Palma Fonseca, Raico Santos Almeida, Alexquemer Sánchez Sánchez, Héctor Castillo Blair (LTU) y Yoan Moreno Martínez (ART).
Manager: Leonardo Soto.
In preparation for the tournament, the team trained and played against the Cuban National Team preselection, who are preparing for the 2023 Pan American Games.