Jose Abreu, Cuban baseball's Barry Bonds, will play in 2013 World Baseball Classic

You can make Shooter McGavin hands once you've hit .450. - Dennis Grombkowski

Jose Dariel Abreu, whose completely absurd National Series stats aroused awe a few years ago, will be playing for Team Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Most Cuban baseball stars aren't famous until after they defect, but Cuba's 2013 World Baseball Classic roster features one exception: Jose Abreu (or Jose Dariel Abreu), who has spent the last several years utterly dominating Cuba's National Series. Think 2001-2004 Barry Bonds. Here's a look at the first baseman's numbers in Cuba, where he made his debut at the country's highest level as a 17-year-old (which is not entirely uncommon.)

Age AB H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG OPS
2003-04 17 258 70 8 1 5 9 57 .271 .307 .368 .675
2004-05 18 167 38 7 2 4 16 50 .228 .311 .365 .676
2005-06 19 312 105 20 5 11 28 61 .337 .423 .538 .961
2006-07 20 283 83 11 3 9 20 47 .293 .382 .449 .831
2007-08 21 239 76 22 0 13 24 43 .318 .418 .573 .981
2008-09 22 289 100 23 1 19 19 69 .346 .438 .630 1.068
2009-10 23 286 114 25 3 30 74 49 .399 .555 .822 1.377
2010-11 24 212 96 14 0 33 58 32 .453 .597 .986 1.583
2011-12 25 282 111 18 1 35 75 40 .394 .542 .837 1.379
2012-13* 26 102 34 9 0 7 29 16 .333 .507 .627 1.134

Via Clay Davenport and beisbolencuba.com. Keep in mind that those 2012-13 numbers are ongoing. For some context, take a look at Aledmys Diaz's numbers—that's the shortstop the Cardinals will be watching closely when he works out for MLB teams later this month—or Yoenis Cespedes's.

Or you can look at the translations—Jose Abreu earned his brief stateside fame when Davenport ran the first widely available attempt to translate Cuban numbers to MLB equivalents. His system suggested Cespedes was a .291/.357/.542 hitter at his very best, and a .258/.319/.471 MLB hitter in his Cuban career. For Abreu's .453 season, the translator spit out .358/.468/.754. The year before that? .316/.435/.634.

Numbers big enough that Jonah Keri could suggest that he might be the best hitter on earth without turning in his Sabermetric Approved card. Unfortunately, the simple fact that Abreu will be appearing in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 means he won't be appearing in Major League Baseball in 2013. But we should probably keep an eye on Jose Abreu while we can.

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