Havana - Cuba is readying its National Team for the upcoming 4th World Baseball Classic, incorporating young talented prospects that are willing to excel and show their potential on the field.
The Cubans will play in Group B, having the Tokyo Dome as the venue. They will first play the host team, Japan, on March 7, and then China and Australia.
The Classic is a very tough tournament, but if we do a good job, we can move to the second round, and then fight hard to keep advancing and reach, at least, the semifinal games, Victor Victor Jr., one of the new kids in the team, told Prensa Latina.
For the 20-year-old center-fielder, who's fast in the outfield with a powerful arm, the team should go step by step: 'First we have to think in Japan, China and Australia, before looking into much favorite Dominican Republic and the USA.'
Besides him, the Cuban team has other young talented players like outfielder Yoelkis Cespedes and relief pitcher Livan Moinelo, eager for making a big contribution to pushing the team to the top.
These young players will have on slugger Alfredo Despaigne, a player with expertise at the Japanese top level professional baseball, an encouraging captain.
Precisely, Despaigne is the team's flag bearer. At the flag-bearing ceremony this Thursday, catcher Frank Camilo Morejon stressed the players' willingness to do their best and play with dignity.
The Cubans will depart Friday for training camps in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan where they will play 11 exhibition games prior to the WBC.