>>33068>How many Cuban MLB players are on the team right now?
Two guys on major league teams, plus four guys on minor league teams in MLB organizations. They also have some guys who play in the NPB (the Japanese league), which is considered to be the second-best league in the world.>How do they compare to the Cuban team that came in 2nd to Japan in the first Classic?
That team was made up entirely of guys who played for teams in Cuba, so on paper the current team should be even better. That said, Cuba actually lost a couple of games to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in 2006 before they made it to the final. This time, they've already lost to the Netherlands (actually Aruba + Curaçao) and Italy (actually Italian-Americans), but their group ended in a crazy five-way tie and Cuba had allowed the fewest runs per inning, so they got the first place spot. In the quarterfinals, Cuba will have what should be a relatively easy game against Australia (who beat a choking Korea to earn their place in the quarterfinals), after which they'll finally have to play a top-tier team (possibly Venezuela) and prove their worth. Cuba's quarterfinal match is the one that takes place tomorrow morning (evening in Japan).