From BR Bullpen
Frederich Cepeda Cruz
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 207 lb.
Frederich Cepeda is an outfielder who has played well in both his native Cuba and in international competition. Cepeda is a well-rounded offensive threat who draws walks, hits for average and with power. Cepeda plays for Sancti Spíritus. He has led the Cuban Serie Nacional in walks 6 times and the Super Liga in at least six different categories. He has made All-Star teams in three major international competitions.
Cepeda led the 2000-2001 Serie Nacional with 86 walks. He batted .299/.467/.529. In the 2001-2002 campaign, he hit .378/.491/.575, 4th in the league in average, to help Sancti Spíritus win the Western division. He batted .394 in the postseason. In game 7 of the finals, he came to bat against Oscar Gil in the 9th inning, the bases loaded and a 1-0 deficit but struck out in the clutch.
He starred in the 2002 Super Liga, leading in runs (24), doubles (11) and homers (7). He tied Juan Carlos Linares for the most hits (35) and tied Bárbaro Cañizares and Ariel Borrero for the most RBI (19).
Cepeda debuted for the Cuban national team in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup], hitting .179/.477/.286 with 15 walks, 13 runs and 11 RBI in 10 games. He had almost twice as many walks as any player in the competition and tied Eduardo Paret for the Cuban lead in walks. He drove in 5 runs in the Gold Medal game, helping Cuba to victory.
Cepeda led the 2002-2003 Serie Nacional with 15 intentional walks. He hit .347/.498/.605, 20 home runs and 75 runs in 90 games. He drew 90 walks, but it was 15 less than leader Juan Manrique. He was 8 homers behind Joan Carlos Pedroso. He again was the top hitter in the Super Liga, pacing it in average (.435), runs (21), homers (7) and RBI (20).
In the 2003 Pan American Games, Cepeda was 1 for 12. He played for Cuba in the Olympic qualifiers as they won a spot in the 2004 Olympics. In the 2003 Baseball World Cup, Frederich hit .406/.444/.906 with 4 homers and 9 RBI in 9 games. He smacked two homers in the 4-2 Gold Medal game win over Panama. He tied Sharnol Adriana, Tiago Magalhaes and Naotaka Takehara for third in the Cup in homers, one behind Audes de Leon and Takashi Yoshiura. He joined Yoshiura and Rubén Rivera as the Cup All-Star outfielders.
Cepeda produced at a .319/.452/.610 rate in the 2003-2004 Serie Nacional. He drew 55 walks, a low number by his standards. In the 2004 Olympics, he hit .455/.514/.727 with 10 runs in 9 games. He was third in the Olympics in average behind teammate Ariel Pestano and Shinya Miyamoto. He tied 10 others, including Michel Enriquez, Kenji Johjima, Kazuhiro Wada, Norihiro Nakamura and Ryan Radmanovich for 5th with 2 home runs, one behind leaders Yurendell de Caster, Kosuke Fukudome, Brett Roneberg and Yoshinobu Takahashi. Cepeda was third with 15 hits, 3 behind Miyamoto and Pestano. Cepeda was Cuba's top hitter in the Gold Medal game, going 2 for 4 with a walk, home run, two runs and two RBI in their 6-2 win over Australia. His homer came off of John Stephens.
Cepeda hit .352/.509/.555 with 93 walks and 76 runs in 90 games in the 2004-2005 Serie Nacional and led in walks; he was 6th in average. He battled a wrist injury during the 2005 Baseball World Cup, limiting him to batting from the left side of the plate. He only batted .184/.279/.211. He still came up with a big moment in the Gold Medal game, going from first to home on a Pestano single.
In the 2005-2006 Serie Nacional, Cepeda hit .320/.512/.559 with 104 walks, leading the circuit. He scored 76 runs in 84 games. During the 2006 World Baseball Classic, he batted .385/.500/.731 with 6 walks and 8 RBI in 8 games. He led Cuba in slugging and was second to Yoandy Garlobo in average and OBP. He tied Justin Morneau, Yung-Chi Chen and Miguel Tejada for third in the event with 3 doubles, trailing Jong-beom Lee and Nobuhiko Matsunaka. He tied Derrek Lee, Jorge Cantu and Tsuyoshi Nishioka for 5th in RBI, trailing Seung-yeop Lee and Ken Griffey Jr. by 2 and Hitoshi Tamura and Adrian Beltre by 1. He tied Nishioka for third in total bases behind Lee and Griffey. He tied Bobby Abreu, Tamura and Nishoka for third in walks, 2 behind David Ortiz and one behind Albert Pujols. Highlights included a 3-run homer off of Giovanni Carrara in the win over Venezuela and his role in the Gold Medal game. In the finale, he had 3 of Cuba's 6 RBI in their 10-6 loss to Japan. In the sixth inning, he doubled home Yulieski Gourriel while facing Shunsuke Watanabe. In the 8th, he hit a 2-run homer against Watanabe with Gourriel aboard. Cepeda missed the WBC All-Star outfield as Jong-beom Lee, Ichiro Suzuki and Griffey were chosen. In the 2006 COPABE qualifier for the 2008 Olympics, Frederich hit .361/.415/.556 with 10 runs in 9 games to help Cuba clinch a berth in the Beijing Summer Games.
In the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games, Cepeda batted .400/.483/.880 with 3 homers, 6 runs and 8 RBI. He led the tourney in homers and slugging as Cuba won Gold. He completed a busy year with the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, Cepeda produced at a .433/.538/.567 clip with 8 walks, 9 runs and 9 RBI in 9 games. He tied Chen, Ivanon Coffie, Gino Lollio, Giuseppe Mazzanti and Pestano for 4th in RBI, trailing Yoandry Urgellés, Young-seop Bae and Adriana. He was 0 for 3 with 2 walks and a run in the 11-inning Gold Medal game win over the Dutch national team. He joined teammates Urgellés and Giorvis Duvergel on the tournament All-Star outfield.
At age 26, Cepeda kept on hitting in the 2006-2007 Serie Nacional with a .337/.500/.458 batting line and 86 walks in 83 games. He turned in his lowest home run total of the decade to that point by only hitting 5, having always reached double digits previously. He led the league in walks, 3 ahead of Alexander Mayeta and also in intentional walks (23).
In the 2007 Pan American Games, Cepeda was a miserable 2 for 21 with no walks but Cuba still won Gold. He did better in the 2007 Baseball World Cup. In Cuba's opener against Australia, he hit a 2-out, 2-strike 93-mph fastball from Brad Thomas for a homer with a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game. Cuba went on to win on Osmani Urrutia's homer an inning later. Against the Netherlands, he singled in the 7th against Diegomar Markwell and scored on a single by Urrutia, just beating out Dirk van 't Klooster's throw to Sidney de Jong at the plate. It tied the game at 1 and was Cuba's only run in a 2-1 defeat. Cepeda wound up costing Cuba a run when he lost a fly from Raily Legito in the sun in the 8th; Legito would score the Netherlands' winning run. Cepeda had a chance to redeem himself with another 2-out at-bat in the 9th down by a run, but he struck out against David Bergman. He was 1 for 4 in the Gold Medal game loss to Team USA, the first time Cuba had lost the Gold Medal game of a Baseball World Cup in four decades. He hit .444/.512/.694 with 8 RBI overall in the 2007 Cup and joined Colby Rasmus and Trent Oeltjen as the tourney All-Star outfielders.
Cepeda produced at a .333/.503/.576 clip in the 2007-2008 Serie Nacional. He fielded just .888 in left field, though. He did lead in walks with 93, 16 ahead of Joan Carlos Pedroso for his sixth time leading the league in that area. On the other hand, he did not make the top 10 in anything else.
Cepeda was one of Cuba's top stars in the 2008 Olympics, hitting .308/.500/.654 with 10 walks, 2 homers and 11 runs in 9 games. As Cuba's left fielder, he made no errors in the field and had one assist despite his poor defense in the 2007 World Cup and 2007-2008 Serie Nacional. He scored and drove in runs in Cuba's 4-2 win over Japan, homered off of Cheng-Chang Lee for the game's only run in a 1-0 victory over Taiwan and homered off Brian Duensing for a key insurance run in the win over Team USA. In the Gold Medal game, he drew a 9th-inning walk from Hyun-jin Ryu and was the potential winning run before Yulieski Gourriel hit into a game-ending double play as Cuba lost 3-2 to take Silver. Cepeda was 8th in the preliminary round in slugging (.632) and led with 9 runs.
Frederich was arguably the best hitter in the first two rounds of the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but Cuba failed to make the final four, their first time ever; they had made the finals in every major global baseball event since the 1951 Amateur World Series. For the Classic, Cepeda went 12 for 24 with 2 doubles, 3 homers, 5 runs and 10 RBI in six games. He homered twice off Barry Armitage in Cuba's opener. He got 3 of Cuba's 8 hits in their first shutout loss to Japan and had three hits as they eliminated Mexico.
Cepeda kept on producing in 2009-2010 with a line of .345/.487/.679 with 74 runs, 78 walks (to 42 strikeouts), 24 home runs and 82 RBI in 83 games. He teamed with Eriel Sánchez and Yulieski Gourriel to give Sancti Spiritus the first trio of 20-homer men in Serie Nacional history. He tied Leris Aguilera for 5th in the loop in long balls, was 5th with 197 total bases, was 4th in RBI (trailing Gourriel, Alfredo Despaigne and Alexander Guerrero), was third in walks (behind Irakli Chirino and Joan Carlos Pedroso) and was 5th in slugging.