From BR Bullpen
Maikel Lopez Jova
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 205 lb.
Maikel defected from Cuba in 1997, having never played in the Cuban Serie Nacional; he left on the same raft as Jorge Toca. He wound up in the Bahamas and their government returned him to Cuba. He fled Cuba again in August 1997.
The Toronto Blue Jays signed Jova for $150,000. He made his pro debut with the 2000 DSL Blue Jays. He hit .299 and was among the Dominican Summer League leaders in hits (93, 3rd), RBI (75, 3rd, 5 behind Nelson Cruz), extra-base hits (34, 4th), runs (69, 4th) and doubles (21, 5th) while smacking 10 homers, 5 behind league leader Cruz.
Jova came stateside in 2001, appearing with the Auburn Doubledays (.268/.299/.418 in 67 G) and the Charleston AlleyCats (.173/.177/.265 in 46 G). The outfielder led Auburn in homers (9), RBI (39), runs (44) and hits (70). In '02, he hit .290/.302/.391 for Charleston, with only 7 walks in 118 games.
Maikel batted .292/.320/.394 for the 2003 AlleyCats and .271/.293/.383 for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the same year. In 2004, the 23-year-old produced at a .277/.296/.411 rate with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats; he had 12 walks to 90 strikeouts.
Jova hit .258/.278/.344 in a return venture with New Hampshire in 2005. He split 2006 between New Hampshire (.192/.211/.267 in 31 G) and the Syracuse SkyChiefs (7 for 30). Let go by Toronto, he signed with the Joliet JackHammers and hit .281/.321/.399.
In 2007, Maikel batted .318/.358/.446 for the Yuma Bullfrogs. The next year, he hit .359/.400/.501 with 75 runs in 84 games for Yuma. He was 9th in the high-octane Golden Baseball League in average. He managed the San Rafael Pacifics of the Pacific Association on an interim basis in 2014 after Danny DiPace stepped down.