Ray Otero (baseballdecuba.com)
HAVANA TIMES — Frederich Cepeda, one of the best hitters in Cuban baseball, will play this coming season in the Nippon Professional League in Japan, which just announced his signing for one season with the Yomiuri Giants in a monetary settlement of $1.5 million dollars.
Cepeda, who just turned 34, batted .292/.484/.536 during the recently concluded its 2013-2014 season in Cuban, playing for his native Sancti Spiritus and later Artemisa when Sancti Spiritus was eliminated.
The switch hitting outfielder and DH was the league leader in walks (100) and OBP while he finished fourth in slugging pct. and third in homers with 13 for the 87 game season.
Cepeda, who is one of the most disciplined hitters of current Cuban baseball, is a batter that produces with power and average in any area of the batter’s box. Furthermore, he has been a veteran of the Cuban national team for the last 12 years. During
During that period Cepeda was on the winning Cuban teams at the World Cup in 2003 and 2005, the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Intercontinental Cups of 2006 and 2010 as well as runner-up efforts in the World Cups of 2007, 2009 and 2011, the 2008 Bejing Olympics and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Cepeda also played on Cuba’s 2009 and 2013 World Classic Baseball squads.
The announcement of Cepeda to play in Japan comes after the release of Cuban baseball players to sign contracts in foreign leagues in the off season from Cuban league play, approved by the Cuban Baseball Federation.
Cepeda is the second Cuban, after the experiment of Omar Linares in 2002, to sign a contract in Japan. Talk has it that his ex-teammate in Sancti Spiritus, third basemanYulieski Gourriel, will also be signing to play in Japan.