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21 Latino Baseball Players That Are Poised To Make An Impact This Season

Spring time is here which means more sun and the start of the a new baseball season. Bring out the baseball cap, the crazy stadium food and the sunscreen for all those hours sitting in the bleachers. With all the excitement of a new season also brings a bevy of storylines and players to watch for this year. Many of those include Latinos players, who are poised to make a big impact this upcoming season. Here’s a look at some of the brightest and biggest Latino stars who are sure to be on your radar in 2019.

1. Yasiel Puig

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With a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds over the winter, Yasiel Puig is one of the most interesting storylines coming into this year. The Cuban sensation was a lightning bolt full of energy for six seasons in LA but will now have to prove himself with the Reds. All we know is that if Puig comes with that same energy he should be all right.

2.Gleyber Torres

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As a rookie with the New York Yankees, Torres made quite an impact with 24 home runs. The Yankees will look too Torres to repeat that same power stroke as they chase a return to the playoffs.

3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr

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Few rookies have as much hype coming into 2019 like Vladimir Guerrero Jr do. The Dominican born third baseman is the son of Hall-Of-Famer Vladimir Guerrero so the expectations are high. If the Toronto Blue Jays want to be relevant this season, Guerrero will be a big part of that success.

4. Gary Sanchez

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Gary Sanchez is easily one of the best hitting catchers in all of baseball and the Yankees will be counting on that bat this season. The Dominican catcher has averaged 23 home runs the last three seasons and was a big part of the Yankees success last season. We are sure to hear about Sanchez this year as he triers to help the Yankess win the AL East title.

5. Kenley Jansen

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After undergoing heart surgery in the off-season, Kenley Jensen is expected to have a comeback year. The Dodgers closer struggled at times last season and wasn’t as dependable as in previous years. The Curaçaoan flamethrower has been one of the best closers the last few years and is sure to make a return to form this year.

6. Jose Abreu

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2018 was the first time in Jose Abreu’s career that he hit lower than .290 and hit only 22 home runs. Those were all career lows for the Chicago White Sox first baseman. The Cuban native has been one of best sluggers in baseball since his debut in 2014 and the White Sox will be looking for him to bounce back.

7. Aroldis Chapman

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Aroldis Chapman is known for his 100 MPH fastball and his shutdown changeup. Last year was arguably one of his best seasons and was a key part of why the Yankees made the playoffs. There’s no doubt Chapman will be bringing the heat again this year.

8. Edwin Diaz

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After leading the major leagues with 57 saves, the Seattle Mariners promptly traded Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets. Diaz had a breakout year last season and will be expected to be a difference maker in New York.

9. Juan Soto

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Juan Soto burst onto the scene last year for the Washington Nationals and never looked back. He hit 22 home runs and was one of the top rookies in baseball after his debut in May. From the looks of it, Soto is just getting started.

10.Carlos Correa

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After an injury-plagued season, Carlos Correa is looking to rebound and get back to his MVP form from 2017. The Puerto Rican native has all the tools of a great shortstop as well as a great ambassador for the game of baseball. The Houston Astros are expecting big things from Correa this season.

11. Luis Severino

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Luis Severino is the anchor of the New York Yankees starting rotation and is poised lead it for years to come. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Severino has a lights out sliders and an even more effective changeup. He’s a must watch this season and a pitcher you should fear facing.

12. Ronald Acuna Jr

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Ronald Acuna Jr won the Rookie of the Year award last season and there’s no doubt the 21-year-old outfielder is going to be a force again. The Atlanta Braves have a loaded young team and Acuna will the be the one trying to lead them into the playoffs again.

13. Manny Machado

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Manny Machado made headlines this past off-season when he signed a 10-year $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Machado instantly makes the Padres contenders in the NL West and will be expected to put up huge numbers. He’s been on of the most consistent power hitters in baseball since his debut in 2012 and will surely make some noise this year.

14. Jose Ramirez

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Jose Ramirez led the Cleveland Indians to the postseason for the third straight season due to his breakout bat. Ramirez, who hails from the Dominican Republic, is predicted to be in the MVP conversation this year.

15.Jose Altuve

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He might be small in stature but his bat says otherwise. Jose Altuve started 2018 strong but struggled towards the end. The former AL MVP should have no trouble working his way back up. Many are predicating the Houston Astros to go back to the World Series and Altuve will have to be a big part of that success.

16. Francisco Lindor

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The Puerto Rican native is arguably one of the best shortstops in baseball. Lindor brings great defense to the position that few can match and a bat that produced 38 home runs last season. We are expecting an encore performance for the young promising shortstop.

17. Javier Baez

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A key member of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, Javier Baez shows no signs of regressing. Baez is heart and soul of the Cubs lineup and will be a key player in 2019. He had one of his best seasons in 2018 with his bat and was in the top-five of MVP voting for his strong season.

18. Marcell Ozuna

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Traded from the Miami Marlins to the St. Louis Cardinals last offseason, Marcell Ozuna welcomed himself to his new club with 23 home runs. The power hitting outfielder is one of the more underrated players in the game.

19. Robinson Cano

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After spending the last five seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano has a new home in New York. This also means high expectations for the all-star second baseman who has hit consistently throughout his 14-year career. Cano, who was born in San Pedro de Macoris, is going to be a must-watch this season as he tries to push the Mets to the playoffs.

20. Julio Urias

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They used to call him “the teenager’ due to his young age, but now 22, Julio Urias is ready to make his name with the LA Dodgers. Hailing from Culiacan, Mexico, Urias represents his country with pride and shows that emotion on the field. Don’t be surprised if you hear his name again this season.

21. Roberto Osuna

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From Sinaloa, Mexico, Roberto Osuna is one of baseball’s best relief pitchers. Coming off a season marked with controversy due to a domestic abuse suspension, Osuna will try to make a comeback on and off the field.

READ: Mexican And American Fans Came Together For A Weekend Of Baseball And Celebration In Mexico

The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

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The Young Girl Struck By A Foul Ball Last Year By Cubs Player Has Permanent Brain Damage

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There is terrible news concerning a two-year-old girl that was struck by a foul ball during an Astros game at Minute Maid Park last May. According to an attorney representing her family, the young girl sustained permanent brain damage from the injury and continues to receive anti-seizure medication. Her family fears the injury could put her at risk of seizures for the rest of her life. “She has an injury to a part of the brain, and it is permanent,” attorney Richard Mithoff told the Houston Chronicle. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved.”

The line drive foul ball came off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, who was visibly in shock when he saw that the young girl was injured. “It’s opened my eyes to other things,” Almora told the AP a few days after the incident. “I never want it to happen again.”

The young girl, whose identity has not been released, was sitting on her grandfather’s lap seated right next to third base, an area that had no net protection. The foul ball made its way into the stands and struck her in the back of the head. 

The extent of the injury revealed that the girl’s central nervous system was certainly affected by the brain injury, in a way that bears similarities to that of a stroke, doctors said. This part of the brain when injured can cause “seizures, loss of spatial awareness and loss of sensation.” The girl’s parents reported that she has had “periods of unresponsiveness and staring spells, frequent headaches and night terrors,” since the incident. 

When the injury initially happened, the girl had a fractured skull and suffered a seizure. She would also endure associated subdural bleeding, brain contusions, and brain edema. As of now, there has been no notice of any legal action taken against the Astros organization or whether the family intends to do so. NBC reports that the girl’s family has paid for all of her medical bills. 

“She is able to continue with much of her routine as a girl her age would do, but her parents have to be particularly vigilant, as they are,” Mithoff said. “She has wonderful parents and is receiving wonderful care. They obviously are concerned, but she is blessed with a family that is doing relatively well, considering everything.”

If there are any positives to come out of this is Major League Baseball being pushed to take action on fan safety. Just last month, it made the announcement that “all 30 clubs will have netting in place that extends substantially beyond the far end of the dugout.” 

After the incident, the Astors replaced netting and expanded it from foul line to foul line in August, following the same moves by the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals in July. The move to extend netting took years and multiple fan injuries for MLB to take action.

In December, MLB finally made the announcement that all 30 clubs would have extended netting in time for the 2020 season. Seven ballparks will have extended netting from foul pole to foul pole and 15 will extend nets to the where the stands angle away from the field of play. The other eight ballparks will have netting that extends “substantially beyond the far end of the dugout,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. 

“There’s a lot of kids coming to the games — young kids who want to watch us play, and the balls come in hard,” Kris Bryant, Almora’s teammate said after the incident. “I mean, the speed of the game is quick, and I think any safety measure we can take to make sure that the fans are safe, we should do it.”

The issue of ballpark safety has been a hot topic issue in recent years as the number of fans being struck in the stands has increased. According to an NBC News investigation last October, there had been at least 808 reports of injuries to fans from baseballs from 2012 to 2019. Some of those injuries included concussions and permanent vision loss. 

“The family is gratified by the announcement from Major League Baseball that the netting will be extended in all 30 ballparks,” Mithoff said. “This is obviously a very significant step forward.”

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A Drug Kingpin Accused Of Ordering The Shooting Of David Ortiz Was Arrested In Colombia For Drug Smuggling

Entertainment

A Drug Kingpin Accused Of Ordering The Shooting Of David Ortiz Was Arrested In Colombia For Drug Smuggling

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A Dominican drug kingpin was arrested in Colombia, just hours before an international flight, and it’s raising questions about his connection to the shooting of baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz. “César the Abuser” Emilio Peralta had arrived by yacht from the Dominican Republic to Cartagena, Colombia, where authorities arrested him in Bocagrande, a wealthy neighborhood in the country’s entertainment capital. Peralta became known as one of the Dominican Republic’s most powerful drug kingpins, operating a drug trafficking scheme to move heroin and cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela through the Dominican Republic and the United States. His operation was so significant, the FBI had offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest, which Peralta had been evading since August 2018.

Peralta has passionately denied any involvement in Ortiz’s shooting. 

CREDIT: @ANARIDIS / TWITTER

“David is like my brother. We were neighbors for four years. I have never been with one of David’s women and David was never involved with any of mine. When David comes from out there [the United States] he brings me my perfume, my gift, my sneakers. David is crazy with my children. My children love him,” Peralta reportedly said in an audio recording.

Meanwhile, Ortiz’s spokesman, Joe Baerlein told The New York Post that Ortiz sold his condo after he saw “Peralta’s thugs hanging out in the building.” The conflicting reports have led to questions about Peralta’s involvement in Ortiz’s shooting.

Rumors spread that Ortiz was involved in a love triangle with Peralta that reached a breaking point the day before his shooting.

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The local paper, El Dominicano, reported that Ortiz had bought Peralta’s girlfriend, Dominican model Maria Yeribell Martinez Garcia, a luxury Lexus SUV. The June 8 report included an alleged ownership pink slip in Martinez Garcia’s name along with a check signed by Ortiz. On June 9, Ortiz was shot several times in the back while enjoying a drink at the Dial Bar and Lounge in East Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Ortiz immediately underwent a 6-hour surgery, during which portions of his intestines, colon, and his entire gallbladder were removed. On June 10, the Red Sox sent a medical flight to bring Ortiz for two more surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

At the hospital, Martinez Garcia was captured on video fighting with another woman, Fary Almanzar Fernandez, in the waiting room for Ortiz. Ortiz’s spokesman told The New York Post that Ortiz “considers her a friend and he has been seen with her at public places with other people around,” and that El Papi did not buy her a car.

Peralta has not been formally charged in any connection to Ortiz’s shooting.

CREDIT: @HJTHEREALJ / TWITTER

The Daily Mail reports that Peralta was captured on video surveillance walking outside the medical facility in the “moments after” Ortiz’s shooting. Authorities have emphasized that Ortiz was not the intended target of the attempted assassination, but rather was ordered by Mexican drug lord Victor Hugo Gomez Vasquez and intended for his cousin, Sixto David Fernández. Remarkably, the shooter shot Ortiz because he was wearing white pants, which resembled the blurry photo of the intended mark, which was obscured by a white object. Gomez Vasquez was arrested on June 28, along with Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, who allegedly took that fateful photo of Ortiz and Fernández.

Ortiz was released from Mass. General six weeks after his shooting, and was still unable to eat food. 

Peralta’s two-decade reign over his Latin American cocaine and heroin trafficking trade seems to be over.

CREDIT: @ANARIDIS / TWITTER

Puerto Rican FBI officials say that Peralta had been conducting an illicit drug trade since 1997. In 2000, Peralta was arrested in Santo Domingo for possessing more than four kilos of cocaine. In 2007, he was linked to a 215 kilos shipment of cocaine, but not convicted. The United States announced charges against Peralta in August and raided 40 properties linked to Peralta, including the condo that once shared the same building as Ortiz’s residence. 

“Cesar Emilio Peralta and his criminal organization have used violence and corruption in the Dominican Republic to traffic tons of cocaine and opioids into the United States and Europe. Treasury is targeting these Dominican drug kingpins, their front persons, and the nightclubs they have used to launder money and traffic women,” the Terrorism and Financial Intelligence agency said in a statement. Two MLB players were arrested and later released for allegedly laundering Peralta’s drug money. Officials state that more information will be released later.

READ: Authorities Identify Person Of Interest In Planned Shooting Of David Ortiz