He came to the U.S. for freedom. Now he's on his way to the Major Leagues.

Raynel Delgado, right.
Raynel Delgado, right.

Although he never played baseball in Cuba, Raynel Delgado will play with the same style and love of the game as his compatriots in the Major Leagues after the Cleveland Indians drafted him in the sixth round of the Amateur Draft.

A third baseman and shortstop, Delgado was selected with the 193rd pick by Cleveland, which must now reach a financial deal with the Calvary Christian Academy student.

"I've seen few kids with the attitude and intelligence of Raynel," said instructor Eulogio Vilanova, who trains boys and in Cuba and led the Metropolitans in Havana. "When he came to me, everyone called him the rafter in good vibes for his attitude without fear, for how awake he was. He was the one who ran the most, the most savvy. "

In his senior year, Delgado, who signed a letter of intent with FIU in case he did not reached an agreement with the Tribe, batted .351 with two homers, 26 RBI, 30 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

Delgado arrived in South Florida with his mother, Yanely Piñero, from Cuba at the age of seven, but until that moment he never took a ball in his hands, something incredible to believe in a boy born in a country with a tremendous baseball tradition.

A resident in Miami Lakes, Delgado slowly began to shine in tournaments and his name was growing to the point of earning a spot in the U-18 World Tournament that took place in 2017 in Ontario, Canada, where he hit two hits and He pushed for a race against the team from his homeland.

It was in Miami that Delgado, a native of San Miguel del Padrón, discovered the Cuban "style" of playing baseball among Antillean compatriots and coaches, who transmitted the secrets of the game to him.

"I was lucky to be his first teacher when he arrived from Cuba," Vilanova said. "I showed him the ABCs of baseball. He only batted to the right and learned to hit the left foot. That attitude of bravery will make it go far in the majors ''

Related stories from Miami Herald