Although he may not be the best player to ever defect from Cuba, he could be the country’s next star. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected from Cuba to pursue a contract with a Major League team. Sources tell Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com that Tomas has settled in the Dominican Republic and “is exploring his options.” Granma, a Cuban Communist Party news source, reported the news in a single paragraph at the end of an article that had an interview with Cuban national baseball director Higinio Velez Carrion.
“From the same source, Granma learned of the departure from the country, through unscrupulous, illegal human trafficking, of he who was a player for the Industriales team, Yasmani Tomas,” Granma’s article read.
Tomas, 23, is a 6-foot-1, 230-pound, right-handed bat. He has previously played both corner outfield positions and has been playing for the Havana Industriales since 2008. He also participated in the quadrennial World Baseball Classic last March for the Cuban national team. During the World Baseball Classic, Tomas hit .375 (6-for-16) with two home runs, one double and four strikeouts.
Yasmani Tomas hit .275 for Havana with ten home runs and 59 runs batted in the last season’s 90-game season and seven playoff games. His numbers dipped down this season as he only hit six home runs while hitting .290 in 257 plate appearances. A source told Baseball America that dip was maybe due to him suffering an injury after going into an outfield wall.