Badler: What it’s like to watch Cuban baseball

From Ben Badler at Baseball America on August 26, 2014:

At Baseball America, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve to give you information you can’t find anywhere else. Few areas are as challenging to cover but can give an innovative team an edge quite like the Cuban market.

Cuba has become such an important source of talent—both for immediate impact and younger prospects—that it’s surprising that more teams don’t have someone who’s full-time gig is covering Cuba, similar to a Venezuelan or Dominican supervisor, with some obvious differences given the travel restrictions. Certain teams already do this, employing Cuban specialists to get a better handle on Cuban players before they ever leave the island, but it’s surprising that it’s not commonplace within the industry.

That’s the approach we took to ranking and writing scouting reports on the top players still in Cuba, traveling across the world to follow the Cuban national team, seeing them at four international events over the past 18 months, watching more than 50 Serie Nacional games this past season and talking to scouts and other sources who have seen the country’s top talent both in and out of Cuba.

Throughout that process, aside from evaluating players ranging in ability from major league all-stars to guys who wouldn’t get out of Rookie ball, certain things jumped out to me about Cuban baseball in general.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 26, 2014. Last Updated: August 26, 2014.