Havana, Friday 24 de May de 2019 06:52 am

Cuban Despaigne hits a homer in Japanese preseason

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Cuban Despaigne hits a homer in Japanese preseasonHAVANA, Cuba, Mar 21 (acn) Cuban Alfredo Despaigne blasted his first preseason homerun and drove in two runs, but he could not avoid the 4-6 loss of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

The Caribbean slugger batted 1 for 4 and now has batting average (BA) of .250 and amounts three RBIs after playing six matches in the spring training.
His teammate and also Cuban, Yurisbel Gracial, hit 1 for 3 and improved his BA to .321.
The official NPB 2019 season will begin next March 29 and the Hawks appear as favorite by having won four of the five last years, in addition to own the last five pennants of the Pacific League.
According to the NPB official site, the current champions have seven foreign players of great talent and experience, who will be fighting for the four available places in their active roster.
Currently, Cubans Alfredo Despaigne, lefty setuper Livan Moinelo, utility Yurisbel Gracial and LHP Ariel Miranda; American closer Dennis Sarfate, Dutch RHP Rick van den Hurk and Venezuelan setup man Robert Suarez are contending for those four seats.
Last season, Despaigne hit 29 homers and drove in 74 runs, although his BA (238) was very poor, as he barely batted 97 hits in 407 at bats.

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