Baseball

He was left off the Cuban national team. And now he is a step closer to the majors

Lency Delgado works out at Babcock Park in  Hialeah
Lency Delgado works out at Babcock Park in Hialeah jiglesias@elnuevoherald.com

A different life now begins for Lency Delgado.

The Cuban-born infielder was selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox, who already have Cubans José Abreu, Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert Moirán.

From the beginning, it was anticipated that Delgado would be taken in the draft because of his tremendous conditioning, power, good defensive hands and his work ethic.

According to reports from evaluators, the pure talent of Delgado — drafted with the 108th selection — and the power of his arm project him as a third baseman who in a few years could reach the Major Leagues.

The player from Havana only needs to continue polishing his swing — the famous long swing that the Cubans bring — but he is already working hard to adapt it to the most successful of the Majors.

Delgado, who arrived in the United States with his mother at age 16, exhibits a fabulous offensive line with the Doral Academy squad: .480 batting average with 13 home runs and 33 RBI.

He had been so certain he would make the Cuban national team for players 11 to 12 years old that he was even dreaming of wearing his uniform. But he was left off the team without any explanation. Such a blow produces an invisible and profound discomfort.

"At the beginning, it bothered me a lot, but then I told myself that it would help me to try harder," said Delgado in a recent interview with el Nuevo Herald. "The memory of that injustice has helped me not to be stopped by nothing or nobody. "

Delgado had a vague idea of ​​his talent, but he could not imagine how far he could go in a more complete and methodical training system, like the one he developed in Doral Academy and in private training sessions.

Not a week goes by without the prospect taking batting lessons with instructor Ricardo Sosa, one of the most respected batting coaches in the country, where dozens of Major League players go.

"In Cuba, things are more relaxed, there is no discipline required," said Delgado, 18. "Here I realized how far you can go if you apply to the training and trust the technicians."

At 6-3 and 210 pounds, he is described as athletic and strong, agile, with clean leg movements and a strong arm, defensively advanced.

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