From BR Bullpen
Leonard Danel Castro Muñagorri
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 220 lb.
Danel Castro played for the Cuban national team in nine different events, including the Olympics.
Castro was 0 for 3 with two runs in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup, backing up Omar Linares at shortstop. He did not play in the Gold Medal game, in which Cuba failed to finish first in a tournament in over a decade. In 1997-1998, he hit 11 triples to lead the Cuban Serie Nacional while playing for Las Tunas. He hit .438/.514/.844 in the 1998 Baseball World Cup with 12 RBI in 10 games, playing as Cuba's starting shortstop. Castro lost out All-Star honors to Nicaragua's Edgard López. In the Gold Medal game, he was 1 for 3 with a triple, two walks and a run.
On May 3, 1999, Castro was 4 for 5 with four runs and two triples to help lead Cuba past the Baltimore Orioles in the first exhibition win ever between a Castro-era Cuban national team and a major league squad.
In the 1999 Pan American Games, the young infielder was 1 for 9. He hit .316/.350/.579 in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup and was named as the All-Star shortstop. He was 4th in the tournament with three steals and tied Steve Hine and Michel Enriquez for third in hits (12), trailing Akinori Iwamura and Yobal Duenas. His four doubles tied Dave Nilsson for the lead. He was 2 for 5 with a double and a RBI in the Gold Medal game, which Cuba lost to Australia in 11 innings.
Castro was 1 for 5 in the 2000 Olympics, backing up German Mesa at shortstop. He did not play in the Gold Medal game, which Cuba lost to the USA. Danel did not play for Cuba's national team in 2001-2002. He was with them for the 2003 Americas qualifier for the 2004 Olympics and the 2003 Baseball World Cup. In the '03 Cup, he hit .280/.438/.320 as Cuba's DH while Eduardo Paret manned short. He was 0 for 2 with a hit-by-pitch in the Gold Medal game win over Panama. That was his last stint with the national team.
Castro batted .354/.422/.542 in 2009-2010. The 33-year-old had 84 runs, 79 RBI and 24 doubles in 87 games. In one contest, he had six hits to tie the Serie Nacional record. For the campaign, he ranked among the leaders in runs (4th behind Yulieski Gourriel, Ramon Tamayo and Yohenis Céspedes), hits (123, 6th), doubles (tied for 5th with Yordanis Samon), total bases (188, 10th) and RBI (8th).