Hoping for the riches of major leaguers like Livan Hernandez and Rene Arocha, a 21-year-old catcher is the latest baseball player to defect from Cuba.
Francisco Santiesteban defected while on a week-long road-trip for a series of exhibition games in Colombia. He plays for the Industriales, a club team that won Cuba’s national championship last year.
Santiesteban is 6-foot-4 and weighs 175 pounds. Last season he hit .332 with six home runs and 54 RBIs in 99 games. Santiesteban is one of Cuba’s top prospects and has been compared to catcher Alberto Hernandez, a member of Cuba’s gold medal team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
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