International Prospects: the golden era for Cubans in the NPB

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Dayan Viciedo #24 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning of play on September 14, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 14: Dayan Viciedo #24 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning of play on September 14, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) /
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International Prospects: The Golden Era for Cubans in the NPB

2016

In his final year with Chiba Despaigne came back with a vengeance going yard 24 times, knocking in 92 and hitting .280.

Dayán Viciedo debuted in the Nippon circuit hitting .274 while depositing  22 balls in the seats and driving in 68 for the Chunichi Dragons.

2017

Alfredo Despaigne signed a lucrative contract with the SoftBank Hawks to be their star slugger and he didn’t disappoint. The power-hitting Cuban hit 35 bombs that year and drove in 105 runs to lead the league in each of those categories. But most importantly won a league title with Fukuoka.

Dodgers castoff Alex Guerrero made an impressive debut in the league with Chunichi and tied Despaigne for the league lead in round-trippers with 35 of his own.

His Chunichi teammate Raúl  Valdés had an effective season toeing the rubber en route to a 6-9 season and putting up an ERA of 3.76 in spite of a lack of run support.

Related Story. International Prospects: Yoelkis Céspedes to declare free agency. light

2018

Coming off a disappointing 2017, another one of the highly regarded ex-Whitesox prospect Dayán Viciedo came back with a strong season winning the Central League batting title hitting an impressive .348 while knocking in 99 and also going yard 26 times.

Ex-big leaguer Onelki Garcia in his first year in Japan had a record of 13-9 and an ERA of 2.99 in 26 starts with Chunichi.

Alfredo Despaigne continued to be the model of consistency in Japan putting up 29 dingers and plating 74 runs with the SoftBank Hawks.

Although Ariel Miranda came to SoftBank late in the season after being released by the Seattle Mariners, still managed to win 6 games and put up a sparkling 1.89 earned run average. Miranda was also a key figure in the Hawks winning back to back titles.