Quebec Capitales Chat: May Update
After winning the Can-Am League championship from 2009-2013, the Quebec Capitales have established themselves as the team to beat in this league, even in seasons when they are not the Cam-Am League champions. Manager Patrick Scalabrini has established himself as one of the best evaluators of talent in the game, and with the moves the team has made this off-season there is no doubt that Les Capitales will be back in the thick of things this season.
On April 2, INF Tyler Young was signed by the club. Young was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013. Last season he played for Mid-A Bowling Green, where he hit .252 in 97 games with 9 home runs and 50 RBI. He also scored 52 runs and stole 9 bases.
Nearly three weeks later Quebec signed RHP Deryk Hooker to a deal. This will be his ninth season in professional baseball. His first eight years were with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, while last year he played for the Oakland Athletics organization. He split time between AA-Midland and AAA-Sacramento. Combined the righty went 1-4 with a 3.90 ERA.
One day after the signing of Hooker, the Capitales signed four former Cuban national players to their roster: OFs Alexei Bell and Yunieski Gourriel, INF Yordan Manduley, and RHP Ismel Jimenez. Bell has 14 years of professional experience playing in the Cuban National Series (CNS). This is his first year playing in the U.S. or Canada. The outfielder is a career .319 hitter in Cuba, with 130 homers in 601 games. He also stole 112.
Gourriel also has 14 seasons playing in Cuba under his belt, but he did play 30 games last season in Quebec. In 30 games for the Capitales he hit .321 with a home run and 11 RBI. In 630 career games in the CNS, Gourriel hit .274 with 42 homers and 419 RBI.
Manduley has played 10 seasons in the CNS. He is a career .302 hitter. He does not have a lot of power, but is a quality infielder who is a solid addition.
Jimenez has 10 seasons in the CNS. He has a career 110-44 record with a 3.05 ERA. In his first six seasons he had one season with a sub-three ERA. He has really stepped up his game in the last four seasons when his highest ERA was 2.53. He has won at least 10 games the last seven seasons.
On April 28, Quebec signed two players to deals. OF Kalian Sams will be entering his 11th season of professional baseball in 2015. Last season Sams was with Camden of the Atlantic League, where he appeared in 16 games, hitting .232 with 2 homers and 6 RBI.
Right-hander Ryan Leach was re-signed by Quebec. Last season he appeared in six games, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 4 walks, with 6 strikeouts. He was not scored upon in any of those outings.
On the last day of the month RHP Derek Dubois was re-signed as well. He appeared in five games last year, going 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He allowed 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched with 9 strikeouts.
By Robert Pannier