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Rays vs Cuba National Team: Scouting the opposition

Here's who the Rays will be facing in today's exhibition game.

Cuban national team in 2013 World Baseball Class
Cuban national team in 2013 World Baseball Class
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Cuba has provided Major League Baseball with some exceptional talent over the years, as their top stars have often defected from the island country with the hopes of achieving the American dream. This has come at a cost to the Cuban national team, who the Rays will be taking on later this afternoon.

That said. Cuba is still spilling over at the brim with talent, as they still posses some potential star power.

The Cuban National Team will be led by Jose Adolis Garcia, whose older brother is Adonis Garcia of the Atlanta Braves. The younger Garcia has a cannon for an arm in the outfield and -- hitting fifth -- can also provide some pop at the plate.

Here are the full lineups for both teams, courtesy of ESPN:

cuba lineup

Both teams are led by Cuban born players, as the Rays have named Cuban-born prospect Dayron Varona to this afternoon's roster.

At the top of the Cuban lineup will be Roel Santos, who possesses an excellent eye to go along with his plus speed from the left side of the plate.

Behind him is pretty much a carbon copy, Yordan Manduley, a gold glove short stop who is excellent at making contact, but doesn't provide much, if any power.

Behind those two slap hitters will be an actual big bat, Yosvani Alarcon, a catcher who can absolutely rake. He is the main power threat in the Cuban lineup.

Batting cleanup for Cuba is William Saavedra, who is also a decent power hitter who can punish mistakes. His tandem with Garcia is formidable.

Batting sixth, Yurisbel Gracial can also hit for power, while he also possesses some solid speed. His fielding is something to watch for in this game, as he can struggle quite a bit at the hot corner.

Yunior Paumier is an on base machine, but doesn't have much speed in order to steal bases. He is an excellent contact hitter and has a great eye at the plate.

Frank Morejon is on the roster just due to the team's need for a catcher. He's a weak hitter, but is smooth behind the plate and runners should not try to test his arm.

Rounding out the Cuban's order is Denis Laza, who is a speedster that knows how to get on base.

From a pitching standpoint, there's not much there as the Cuban staff mostly consist of soft-tossers who range in the mid to high 80's, occasionally touching the 90's, so they will have to rely on their secondary stuff in order to get the Rays hitters out.

For a more in-depth look at some of the players the Rays may see, Ben Badler of Baseball America has a more detailed write up.