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From BR Bullpen
Ariel Borrero Alfonso
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 181 lb.
Ariel Borrero has played first base in Cuba for over a decade. He debuted in 1995-1996 with Villa Clara. In 1999-2000, he led the Serie Nacional with 27 doubles. He had a big year in 2000-2001, hitting .371/.427/.664 with 10 triples, 17 homers and 83 RBI in 88 games. He led the league in three-baggers and was only 4 RBI shy of the lead. He was 7th in the league in batting average. He played for Cuba in the 2001 World Port Tournament, hitting .257/.278/.371. He was Cuba's star in the Gold Medal game win over the Netherlands, going 3 for 4 with a homer and 3 RBI in a 7-2 victory.
In 2001-2002, the left-handed batsmen posted a line of .343/.408/.544 and led the league with 14 intentional walks. He drove home 19 runs in the 2002 Super Liga, tying Bárbaro Cañizares and Frederich Cepeda for the lead. During the 2002-2003 Seire Nacional, Borrero hit .295/.378/.473. He followed in 2003-2004 by batting .348/.421/.497. In 2004-2005, the 33-year-old veteran hit .312/.393/.486. He had another fine campaign in 2005-2006 by batting .346/.435/.514 with 61 RBI in 78 games. Ariel got his first appearance in a major international event in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, when the old-timer was Cuba's primary first baseman. He batted .318/.375/.364. In the 10-6 Gold Medal game loss to Japan, Borrero was 1 for 4 with a run out of the cleanup slot.
Ariel hit .296/.398/.352 in 2006-2007, failing to go deep in 82 games, unusual for a first baseman in any league. In 2007-2008, he recovered to bat .281/.363/.455 with 9 HR. His career average through that season was .313 with a .471 slugging percentage.
Borrero was a late addition to Cuba's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final cut. He hit .325/.384/.492 in the 2008-2009 season and was 5th in the league with 14 intentional walks. He was 4 for 4 in a losing effort in game two of the finals.
In the 2009 World Port Tournament, he hit .441/.441/.647 with 10 runs in 9 games. He led the tournament in runs and his 7 RBI tied Rolando Meriño, Eriel Sánchez and Leonys Martín, trailing Yoelvis Fiss only. His four doubles tied Martín and Sidney de Jong for second in the tourney, two behind Sánchez. His 22 total bases were third behind Fiss and Sánchez. His 15 hits were third behind Fiss and Adonis García. He was second in average behind García, second in slugging (.010 behind Sánchez) and was 7th in OBP.
Ariel hit .341/.429/.530 with 19 doubles and 67 RBI in 74 games in 2009-2010 while fielding .996 for Villa Clara.