MFP Arecibo wants to bring title to Puerto Rico

Karl Schneider
MFP Arecibo

It has been 22 years since Puerto Rico’s representative team at the Connie Mack World Series won the title. But, this year, MFP Arecibo believes it has what it takes to bring a championship back to the Caribbean island.

"We have a great group of kids, and they’re hungry to show the people what they can do," MFP manager Jose Viera said. "Puerto Rico is going to be ready for this championship. We’re going to do our best to be in the last game of the tournament and play for the championship. That’s our goal, and that’s why we play every day. We’re going to be ready."

Viera recognized three members of his pitching rotation — Jose Cruz Molina, Luis Quinones Morales and Bryan Santiago Garcia — who he expects to present a challenge for the competition during the tournament.

"Our strength is definitely going to be our pitching and defense, but we also have some good guys with speed and power (offensively)," Viera said.

The trip to Farmington for MFP is especially important to Viera, who played in the 1987 Connie Mack World Series with the Puerto Rican team. Viera said that experience helped him sign a contract with the Chicago Cubs and play more than five seasons with their minor league affiliates.

"I can’t forget Farmington. It gave me the chance to play and show people what I can do in baseball, and it gave me the chance to play professional ball for the Chicago Cubs. It was a dream come true," Viera said. "I told my kids that it should be a dream come true for them, too, because few guys have the chance to be at the best world series in the world."

2016 Connie Mack World Series preview

A Closer Look

Coach: Jose Viera

Hometown: Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Region: Puerto Rico

Roster (number, player, position)

1 Francisco Cirilo, P

5 Emmanuell Garcia Ayala, UTL

8 Stephen Doel Soto Miranda, INF

9 Manuel Martinez Rivera, P

10 Bryan Santiago Garcia, P

11 Adrian Martinez Rivera, OF

12 Ryan Munoz Velez, P

13 Ricardo Cardona Barreto, OF

14 Cristian Molina Figueroa, P

15 Luis Quinones Morales, P

16 Jeanthony Medina Custodio, P

19 Jose Cruz Molina, P

20 Han De Jesus Rodriguez, C

21 David Ortiz Marrero, P

22 Pedro Oreto Cruz, OF

23 Abdiel Morales Quinones, C

24 Carlos Viera Morales, INF

25 Josuan No Torres Cruz, P

30 Carlos Rodriguez Lopez, C

31 Gabriel Arroyo Aromont, OF

42 Luis Viera Perez, INF

88 Gabriel Ramos Del Rio, P