Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
|Lourdes Gurriel Jr.|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
Born: October 19, 1993|
Sancti Spíritus, Cuba
|Central American and Caribbean Games|
|2014 Veracruz||National Team|
|World Port Tournament|
|2015 Netherlands||National team|
Lourdes Yunielki Gurriel Castillo Jr. is a Cuban professional baseball infielder and outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for Sancti Spíritus and the Industriales of the Cuban National Series before defecting. Gurriel was ranked as one of the top international prospects available following his defection.
Cuban National Series
Gurriel debuted with Sancti Spíritus in 2010 as a 16-year-old and was used as a pinch hitter, hitting .200 in 15 at bats over 16 games. The following season, Gurriel appeared in 55 games and batted .227 with three home runs and 16 runs batted in (RBI). In his final season with Sancti Spíritus, Gurriel hit .253 with four home runs and 32 RBI in 67 games.
In 2013 Gurriel joined the Industriales, playing 45 games and hitting .218 with one home run and 17 RBI. Prior to the start of the 2014 season, Gurriel represented Cuba at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, earning the gold medal. He appeared in 63 games the in 2014 and greatly improved upon his 2013 campaign, batting .308 with eight home runs and 42 RBI. With the Industriales in 2015, Gurriel hit .344 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI. After the Cuban League season, Gurriel agreed to a contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), but did not appear in any games for the team and was placed on the restricted list.
Toronto Blue Jays
In August 2016, Gurriel was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball (MLB), and ranked as the sixth best international prospect available. In September, he held a showcase of his skills at Rod Carew Stadium that was attended by 60 MLB scouts. On November 12, Gurriel signed a seven-year, $22 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
- "Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Register Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Garcia, Anne-Marie. "Cinco cubanos verán accion en la liga de Japón". MLB.com (in Spanish). Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Badler, Ben (June 5, 2015). "Something is up with the Gourriel brothers". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Strauss, Ben. "Star Brothers Are Apparently the Latest to Defect From Cuba". The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
- "2016 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Sanchez, Jesse (September 14, 2016). "Younger Gurriel brother, Lourdes, on display at showcase". MLB.com. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Sanchez, Jesse (November 12, 2016). "Cuba's Gurriel Jr. signs 7-year deal with Blue Jays". MLB.com. Retrieved November 12, 2016.