Jeison is Chasing His Dream

Jeison Martínez with the Mayabeque Huracanes via Boris Luis Cabrera Acosta

The Mayabeque Huracanes are one of the newer squads in the Cuban National Series. The Huracanes blew on shore in 2012 with the redrawing of provincial boundaries. They are the successors to the La Habana Cowboys but due to their lack of winning typically fly under the radar. They rarely qualify for Cuba’s second phase and seldomly appear in prime television matchups. All of this frames that finding information on a breakout player from one of Cuba’s lesser known teams is not an easy chore.

What do we know about Jeison Martínez now that he has made his way to the Dominican Republic and will seek a future in the Major Leagues?

Both Yeison and Jeison have appeared in print with Jeison appearing more commonly. Like many Cuban players he made his debut in the Cuban National Series at a relative young age. At just 17 he joined the Huracanes for the 2017–18 season. He surprisingly played sparingly for a squad bereft of top level talent.

He has played all non-catching positions defensively but more recently settled in at second base. The limited video available on Jeison is linked above. He shows solid tools and a strong arm at the position but perhaps lacks full focus common with young players. He appears to be throwing the ball before he has secured it in a few situations. His range is solid and footwork adequate and as stated appears to show an above average arm for second base. He doesn’t appear to exude the raw talent for Short Stop or fundamental tools for third base.

Journalist Francys Romero broke the story initially. Yusseff Diaz (Pelota Cubana) states that scouts think his best position and path to future success are in the outfield. He reminds them most closely of fellow countryman and current top prospect for Baltimore Yusniel Díaz. Scouts compare him to Jose Ramirez (Indians) and another Cuban Andy Ibanez who signed with the Texas Rangers for $1.5 Million in 2015.

He dazzled in his rookie year hitting .365/.436/.528 w 7HR. He was third in the league in hits and showed good patience with 39 strike outs vs 34 walks. The top 20 hitters in cuba all eclipsed a .344 Batting average for reference. I have broken down about 15 of his At Bats and he didn’t strike out in any. He took walks when he should have and showed solid contact skills often going the other way. He didn’t get pull happy against average mid 80 Mile per hour fastballs. It will be interesting to watch his progress as he adds muscle and strength. The hope is he continues to hit the baseball to all fields.

Phil Selig