Cuban pitcher Ariel José Martínez Camacho will play in the nascent semi-professional baseball league Nihonkai Ocean, in Japan, according to official media on the island.
The Nihonkai Ocean League, of semi-professional level, has just been formed after the departure of several teams from the Japan Baseball Challenge League, created in 2007, according to the media.
Regarding the team that has acquired the services of the Cuban pitcher, the publication explains that it is a club that had already won the 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2013 editions of the aforementioned Challenge League.
The talented pitcher showed excellent performances in the previous version of the main baseball tournament on the island. According to official statistics, Ariel José Martínez Camacho won 11 victories and saved 12 games, for which he was selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament.
A year before, in the 60th National Series, he had been selected as the Rookie of the Year after winning 9 games and only conceding a couple of defeats, confirming himself as the leader of the staff of the Cuban baseball team in the under-23 category.
Jit notes that the current contract will not prevent Ariel José Martínez Camacho from being available to join the Cuban team that will participate in the universal event for players under 23 years of age next November.
Recently, the also spiritual pitcher Pedro Coujil, who joined Industriales in the most recent season, also traveled to Japan to join the independent league Shikoku Island Plus with the Tokushima Indigo Socks team.
Several Cubans are currently playing for various teams in the Japan Professional League (NPB), the main circuit of the Asian nation, although not all of them do so under the umbrella of the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB).
Among the latter, the most notable figures are Alfredo Despaigne from Granma, Yurisbel Gracial from Matanzas and Liván Mínelo from Pinar del Río, all of them in the ranks of the Softbank Falcons, which has won 19 titles. Also in that group, Raidel Martínez, Yariel Rodríguez from Agramontno and Ariel José Martínez Camacho from Yumur, all of them with the Chunichi Dragons, have achieved remarkable results.
Other players who have had experience in the U.S. Major Leagues have also joined the Japanese tournament, among them outfielder Leonys Coujil and outfielder Adeiny Hechevarría (both with the Chiba Lotte Marines) and starter Dayán Viciedo (Chunichi Dragons).