Cuban League 2014 National Series Award Winners

On the eve of the final stage of the National Series playoffs unfolding in Matanzas, the Cuban Baseball Federation has announced this year’s individual ballplayer award winners, and prime pennant challenger Pinar del Río has already proven to be the biggest winner. A top tandem of star Vegueros hurlers have walked off with the two most impressive trophies, and with the Green Tsunami club now one victory away from garnering their tenth league title (Industriales still leads the pack with twelve), recently returned veteran manager Alfonso Urquiola may soon be adding to the clean sweep with highly likely Manager of the Year plaudits. Coming off a brilliant 15-3 (1.78 ERA) performance, ten-year veteran right-hander Yosvani Torres edged transplanted Industriales third sacker Yulieski Gourriel and Matanzas outfielder Yadiel Hernández for the prestigious Most Valuable Player trophy. And by posting a strong showing out of Urquiola’s bullpen (5-5, with 24 relief appearances and 5 saves), Vladimir Gutierrez also walked off with Rookie of the Year honors.


Also announced yesterday in Havana were the top offensive and defensive all-star squads, with four ballplayers (indicated in boldface type below) being tapped on both honorary squads. The position-by-position defensive nominees stand as the equivalent to Major League Baseball’s designated Gold Glove winners.

National Series #53 Offensive All-Stars

 Catcher: Yulexis La Rosa (Villa Clara); First Base: William Saavedra (Pinar del Río); Second Base: José Miguel Fernández (Matanzas); Third Base: Yulieski Gourriel (Industriales); Shortstop: Alexander Ayala (Camagüey, Artemisa); Outfielders: Maikel Cáceres (Holguín), Roel Santos (Granma, Pinar del Río), Yadiel Hernández (Matanzas); Designated Hitter: Frederich Cepeda (Sancti Spíritus, Artemisa); Utility Player: Raúl González (Ciego de Avila); RHP: Yosvani Torres (Pinar del Rio); LHP: Yoanni Yera (Matanzas); Relief Pitcher: José Angel García (Artemisa)

National Series #53 Defensive All-Stars (Gold Gloves)

 Catcher: Frank Camilo Morejón (Industriales); First Base: Ramón Lunar (Villa Clara); Second Base: Andy Sarduy (Villa Clara); Third Base: Yulieski Gourriel (Industriales); Shortstop: Angel Miguel Fernández (Isla de la Juventud); Outfielders: Maikel Cáceres (Holguín), Victor Victor Mesa (Matanzas), Yadiel Hernández (Matanzas); Pitcher: Yoanni Yera (Matanzas)

There are several interesting footnotes to this year’s league individual awards. By running second for the top MVP honor, Yulieski Gourriel narrowly missed out on the chance to join Omar Linares, Wilfredo Sánchez and Alfredo Despaigne as the only trio of three-time winners. Transfered to the Havana Industriales squad only this season, Gourriel also stood to become the first ever to garner MVP distinctions with two different ball clubs, a phenomenon made possible only last year with a new split-season format that allows for reinforcement players during the campaign’s second half championship round. Also noteworthy is the fact that a pitcher has garnered the honor for the second year running, the first time this has happened in more than a decade. ROY honors have now also been awarded to hurlers for four straight campaigns. This seems something of an intriguing anomaly, given a widespread view that the Cuban League has been evolving over the past decade into an acknowledged “hitters’ circuit” stripped of young pitching talent. The current MVP and ROY trends seem to undercut so much moaning on the island concerning the overall quality of league pitching (and thus national team hurling) and to run counter to a universal accord that the pitching art has been very much on the decline of late.

Cuban NATIONAL SERIES MVPs (1962-2014)


1962­­­­-62 (NS#1) Edwin Walters (Occidentales) Outfielder

1962-63 (NS#2) Modesto Verdura (Azucareros) Pitcher

1963-64 (NS#3) Pedro Cháves (Occidentales) Outfielder (First Baseman)

1964-65 (NS#4) Urbano González (Industriales) Second Baseman

1965-66 (NS#5) Lino Betancourt (Henequeneros) First Baseman

1966-67 (NS#6) Pedro Cháves (Industriales) Outfielder (First Baseman)

1967-68 (NS#7) Eulogio Osorio (Habana) Outfielder

1968-69 (NS#8) Wilfredo Sanchez (Henequeneros) Outfielder

1969-70 (NS#9) Wilfredo Sánchez (Henequeneros) Outfielder

1970-71 (NS#10) Antonio Jiménez (Industriales) Pitcher

1971-72 (NS#11) Agustín Marquetti (Industriales) First Baseman

1972-73 (NS#12) Armando Capiró (Habana) Outfielder

1973-74 (NS#13) Antonio Múñoz (Azucareros) First Baseman

1974-75 (NS#14) Wilfredo Ruíz (Agricultores) Pitcher

1975-76 (NS#15) Omar Carrero (Ganaderos) Pitcher

1976-77 (NS#16) Isídro Pérez (Azucareros) Pitcher

1977-78 (NS#17) Fernando Sánchez (Henequeneros) Outfielder

1978-79 (NS#18) Wilfredo Sánchez (Citricultores) Outfielder

1979-80 (NS#19) Pedro José Rodríguez (Cienfuegos) Third Baseman

1980-81 (NS#20) Rogelio García (Vegueros) Pitcher

1981-82 (NS#21) Fernando Hernández (Vegueros) Outfielder

1982-83 (NS#22) Lázaro Junco (Citricultores) Outfielder

1983-84 (NS#23) Luis Giraldo Casanova (Vegueros) Outfielder

1984-85 (NS#24) Omar Linares (Vegueros) Third Baseman

1985-86 (NS#25) Lázaro Vargas (Industriales) Third Baseman

1986-87 (NS#26) Javier Méndez (Industriales) Outfielder

1987-88 (NS#27) Pedro Luis Rodríguez (Habana) Catcher

1988-89 (NS#28) Orestes Kindelán (Santiago de Cuba) Outfielder (Catcher)

1989-90 (NS#29) Omar Linares (Vegueros) Third Baseman

1990-91 (NS#30) Lázaro Madera (Vegueros) Outfielder

1991-92 (NS#31) Jorge Luis Valdés (Henequeneros) Pitcher

1992-93 (NS#32) Omar Linares (Pinar del Río) Third Baseman

1993-94 (NS#33) Lourdes Gourriel (Sancti Spíritus) First Baseman (Outfielder)

1994-95 (NS#34) Amado Zamora (Villa Clara) Outfielder

1995-96 (NS#35) Jorge Fumero (Industriales) Pitcher

1996-97 (NS#36) José Estrada (Matanzas) Outfielder

1997-98 (NS#37) Oscar Machado (Villa Clara) Outfielder

1998-99 (NS#38) Michel Enríquez (Isla de la Juventud) Third Baseman

1999-00 (NS#39) Norge Luis Vera (Santiago de Cuba) Pitcher

2000-01 (NS#40) Maels Rodríguez (Sancti Spíritus) Pitcher

2001-02 (NS#41) Michel Abreu (Matanzas) First Baseman

2002-03 (NS#42) Javier Méndez (Industriales) Outfielder

2003-04 (NS#43) Osmani Urrutia (Las Tunas) Outfielder

2004-05 (NS#44) Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spíritus) Infielder

2005-06 (NS#45) Yulieski Gourriel (Sancti Spíritus) Infielder

2006-07 (NS#46) Osmani Urrutia (Las Tunas) Outfielder

2007-08 (NS#47) Alexei Bell (Santiago de Cuba) Outfielder

2008-09 (NS#48) Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) Outfielder

2009-10 (NS#49) Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) Outfielder

2010-11 (NS#50) José Dariel Abreu (Cienfuegos) First Baseman

2011-12 (NS#51) Alfredo Despaigne (Granma) Outfielder

2012-13 (NS#52) Freddy Asiel Alvarez (Villa Clara) Pitcher

2013-14 (NS#53) Yosvani Torres (Pinar del Río) Pitcher

MVP Data Summary

Multiple Year MVP Winners: Alfredo Despaigne 3 (2009, 2010, 2012); Omar Linares 3 (1985, 1990, 1993); Wilfredo Sánchez 3 (1969, 1970, 1979); Yulieski Gourriel 2 (2005, 2006); Osmani Urrutia 2 (2004, 2007); Javier Méndez 2 (1987, 2003); Pedro Chávez 2 (1964, 1967)

Consecutive-Year MVP Winners: Alfredo Despaigne (2009, 2010); Yulieski Gourriel (2005, 2006); Wilfredo Sánchez (1969, 1970)

MVP Winners by Playing Position: Outfielders (25), Infielders (15), Pitchers (12), Catchers (1) (#Main position only considered)

MVP Winners by Ball Club: Industriales (8), Vegueros (6), Henequeneros (5), Sancti Spíritus (4), Santiago de Cuba (3), Azucareros (3), Habana Province (3), Villa Clara (3), Granma (3), Las Tunas (2), Matanzas (2), Occidentales (2), Citricultores (2), Pinar del Río (2), Cienfuegos (2), Agricultores (1), Ganaderos (1), Isla de la Juventud (1)

Double Winners of MVP and Rookie-of-the-Year Honors: Lourdes Gourriel (1977 ROY, 1994 MVP); Pedro José Rodríguez (1974 ROY, 1980 MVP); Michel Abreu (1997 ROY, 2002 MVP)

Cuban NATIONAL SERIES ROYs (1967-2014)


1962-62 (NS#1) Not Awarded

1962-63 (NS#2) Not Awarded

1963-64 (NS#3) Not Awarded

1964-65 (NS#4) Not Awarded

1965-66 (NS#5) Not Awarded

1966-67 (NS#6) Arturo Linares (Habana) Outfielder

1967-68 (NS#7) Rodolfo Puentes (Habana) Infielder

1968-69 (NS#8) Armando Sánchez (Henequeneros) Outfielder

1969-70 (NS#9) None Selected

1970-71 (NS#10) Heriberto Arboláez (Las Villas) Infielder

1971-72 (NS#11) Pedro Jova (Azucareros) Infielder

1972-73 (NS#12) Roberto Ramos (Azucareros) Pitcher

1973-74 (NS#13) Pedro José Rodríguez (Azucareros) Third Baseman

1974-75 (NS#14) Eduardo Terry (Citricultores) Pitcher

1975-76 (NS#15) Eladio Iglesias (Pitcher)

1976-77 (NS#16) Lourdes Gourriel (Sancti Spíritus) Outfielder

1977-78 (NS#17) José Riveira (Villa Clara) Pitcher

1978-79 (NS#18) Alejo O’Reilly (Villa Clara) Outfielder

1979-80 (NS#19) Reinaldo López (Pitcher)

1980-81 (NS#20) Rolando Verde (Industriales) Third Baseman

1981-82 (NS#21) Jorge Millan (Habana) First Baseman

1982-83 (NS#22) Rafael Gómez Mena (Metropolitanos) Pitcher

1983-84 (NS#23) Rolando Arrojo (Villa Clara) Pitcher

1984-85 (NS#24) Eddy Rojas (Villa Clara) First Baseman (Outfielder)

1985-86 (NS#25) Buenafé Nápoles (Camagüey) Pitcher

1986-87 (NS#26) Alexis Cabrejas (Industriales) Outfielder

(T) 1987-88 (NS#27) Alexander Ramos (Isla de la Juventud) Infielder

(T) 1987-88 (NS#27) Teofilo Pérez (Camagüey) Pitcher

(T) 1988-89 (NS#28) Idalberto Castillo (Granma) Pitcher

(T) 1988-89 (NS#28) Deisy Lomba (Cienfuegos) Pitcher

1989-90 (NS#29) Rubén Rodríguez (Santiago de Cuba) Pitcher

1990-91 (NS#30) José Lamarque (Holguín) Outfielder

(T) 1991-92 (NS#31) René Espin (Metropolitanos) Pitcher

(T) 1991-92 (NS#31) Jorge Díaz Olano (Villa Clara) Infielder

1992-93 (NS#32) Vaisel Acosta (Matanzas) Outfielder

1993-94 (NS#33) Reinier Capote (Pinar del Río) Shortstop

1994-95 (NS#34) Larry Rodríguez (Habana Province) Pitcher

1995-96 (NS#35) Eriel Sanchez (Sancti Spíritus) Catcher

(T) 1996-97 (NS#36) Maikel Quintero (Industriales) Pitcher

(T) 1996-97 (NS#36) Michel Abreu (Matanzas) First Baseman

(T) 1997-98 (NS#37) Yasser Gómez (Metros) Outfielder)

(T) 1997-98 (NS#37) Ismael Cortina (Pinar del Río) Pitcher

1998-99 (NS#38) Norlis Concepción (Pinar del Río)

1999-00 (NS#39) Yoandry Urgellés (Industriales) Outfielder

2000-01 (NS#40) Pedro José Rodríguez, Jr. (Cienfuegos)

2001-02 (NS#41) Kendry Morales (Industriales) Infielder

2002-03 (NS#42) Yordanis Samón (Granma)

2003-04 (NS#43) Frank Montieth (Industriales) Pitcher

2004-05 (NS#44) Yadier Pedroso (Habana Province) Pitcher

2005-06 (NS#45) Alberto Soto (Granma) Pitcher

2006-07 (NS#46) Raiko Olivares (Industriales) Infielder

2007-08 (NS#47) Yosvany Pérez (Villa Clara) Pitcher

2008-09 (NS#48) Michel Gorgüet (Guantánamo) Infielder

2009-10 (NS#49) Yusef Amado (Metropolitanos) Outfielder

2010-11 (NS#50) Gerardo Concepción (Industriales) Pitcher

2011-12 (NS#51) Carlos Juan Viera (Las Tunas) Pitcher

2012-13 (NS#52) Norge Luis Ruiz (Camagüey, Sancti Spíritus) Pitcher

2013-14 (NS#53) Vladimir Gutierrez (Pinar del Río) Pitcher

Cuban NATIONAL SERIES Post-Season MVPs (1998-2014)

While the Cuban Baseball Federation has never published any “official” list of MVP Awards for post-season play, Havana’s Radio COCO has in more recent years provided its own “unofficial” listing of MVPs for all post-season series since 1998 (National Series #37). Cuba did not hold round-robin post-season playoffs until 1986 (National Series #25).

1997-98 (NS#37) José Contreras (Pinar del Río) Pitcher

1998-99 (NS#38) Norge Luis Vera (Santiago de Cuba) Pitcher

1999-00 (NS#39) Fausto Alvarez (Santiago de Cuba) Outfielder

2000-01 (NS#40) Norge Luis Vera (Santiago de Cuba) Pitcher

2001-02 (NS#41) Oscar Gil (Holguín) Pitcher

2002-03 (NS#42) Antonio Scull (Industriales) First Baseman

2003-04 (NS#43) Enríque Díaz (Industriales) Second Baseman

2004-05 (NS#44) Ormari Romero (Santiago de Cuba) Pitcher

2005-06 (NS#45) Alexander Mayeta (Industriales) First Baseman

2006-07 (NS#46) Alexei Bell (Santiago de Cuba) Outfielder

2007-08 (NS#47) Rolando Meriño (Santiago de Cuba) Catcher

2008-09 (NS#48) Miguel Alfredo González (Habana Province) Pitcher

2009-10 (NS#49) Alexander Malleta (Industriales) First Baseman

2010-11 (NS#50) Yosvani Torres (Pinar del Rio) Pitcher

2011-12 (NS#51) Vladimir García (Ciego de Avila) Pitcher

2012-13 (NS#52) Freddy Asiel Alvarez (Villa Clara) Pitcher

2013-14 (NS#53) Not Yet Announced

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