Left-handed-hitting SoftBank Hawks outfielder Oscar Colas has reportedly fled Cuba in order to pursue a career in MLB.
The slugger played in seven Pacific League games this season, homering in his first plate appearance on Aug. 18 in Fukuoka.
After failing to get any kind of memorable results in his first two minor league seasons with the Hawks, Colas slashed .302/.350/.516 last year in the WL, a notorious pitchers’ league. A left-handed pitcher, he did appear on the mound for the Hawks’ third team, where younger players compete against amateur sides — this is the level where first-year Hawks pitcher Carter Stewart Jr competed in 2019.
Colas becomes the third player to defect after signing a professional contract to play in Japan, following Yuli Gurriel, who played in 62 games for the DeNA BayStars. His brother Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was to join him in Yokohama for 2015, but neither reported and were eventually released.