Yulexis La Rosa
Yulexis La Rosa Águila
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 184 lb.
Yulexis La Rosa has been a catcher for Villa Clara.
In his first 9 seasons, he hit .256 and slugged .366 while backing up Ariel Pestano. In his 10th year, 2008-2009, he hit .289/.384/.389 and threw out 13 of 26 attempted base-stealers, starting to take up some of the slack as Pestano was supposed to be retiring at year's end. La Rosa was with Cuba for the 2009 World Port Tournament. going 2 for 7 with a walk while backing up Eriel Sánchez at catcher; he threw out one of two attempted base-stealers.
In the 2009-2010 season, he produced at a .300/.361/.432 clip and gunned down an impressive 18 of 27 of those who tried to steal, splitting the work pretty evenly with Pestano. By the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week, he was a starter for the Cuban B squad if not yet a starter in the winter season; he hit .261/.292/.304 in the event and played error-free ball. He backed up Pestano with the Cuban A team in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, getting two starts; he was 2 for 4 with a double, two runs and three RBI in a romp of Hong Kong while catching Dalier Hinojosa's perfect game and was 1 for 4 with a run in a 5-3 win over Italy. He started the comeback 5th-inning winning rally off Tiago Da Silva. He also backed up Pestano in the 2010 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament, going 7 for 11 with a double, two runs and five RBI (five hits against the Netherlands Antilles) in two games; he had more hits and RBI in two games than Pestano had in nine.
In 2010-2011, he batted .251/.333/.354 and fielded .990 for Villa Clara, allowing 16 steals in 27 tries, again splitting time with Pestano; at age 31, he still had not won over the starting job. He was 2 for 10 in the 2011 World Port Tournament, splitting time with Yenier Bello. He hit .251/.341/.335 in 2011-2012 and slumped further, to .190/.238/.248 in 2012-2013.
The Sagua la Grande native finally became a starter at age 33 in 2013-2014 and responded by surging to .315/.376/.445 and throwing out 55% of those who tried to steal on him. He won a nod as the league's Offensive All-Star catcher. He was 3 for 11 with a double, run and a RBI in the 2014 Caribbean Series, the first time Cuba had played in the Caribbean Series in 54 years. As a defensive sub for Yosvani Alarcón in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, he was 0 for 2 in three games as Cuba won the Gold Medal.
La Rosa hit .250/.316/.299 for Villa Clara in the first half of 2014-2015 but they did not make it to the second half. He joined up with Granma to end the year, the first team other than Villa Clara he had played for ever. He batted .292/.343/.408 in the second half. He gunned down a whopping 64% of base thieves that season, finishing second in the league in runners caught stealing (28, behind Franklin Aballe) while only tying for 10th in steals allowed (16). He won the Gold Glove.
Splitting catching with Alarcón in the 2015 Pan American Games, he was just 1 for 10 with a walk in a hitter-dominant event and no one tried to steal against him.