Yuli Gurriel is a talented Cuban professional baseball player who has made a name for himself in Major League Baseball. The star plays a double role as the first and third baseman for the Houston Astros of the league. Yuli was previously associated with Team Sancti Spiritus in the Cuban professional baseball league. It is interesting to note that Yuli Gurriel is a versatile player and has played various positions both as a second and third baseman and in the shortstop position. He helped the Astros win the 2017 World Series Championship, read interesting facts about Yuli below.
Yulieski Gourriel Castello was born on June 9, 1984, in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. The parents of the player are of Cuban descent. As befits any young boy whose father is an athlete, Yuli was inspired by his father Lourdes Gourriel, who was a former professional baseball player for the Cuban national team. Lourdes had won several awards during his active career, including an Olympic gold medal. While growing up, Yuli participated in several youth baseball programs organized in Cuba.
At the beginning of his career in 2004, Yuli Gurriel ended his youth career with the Sancti Spiritus and Industriales teams of the Cuban League. In the 2004/05 season, he led the Cuban League in goals and runs. In the following season, he led the league in triples, runs, and RBIs. The rising star also played for the Cuban national team, leading the team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He then continued to improve his game and led the national team to the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and although his team did not win the championship, he finished the championship with 0.515 percent power and 0.273 percent power.
Yuli also led the national team to the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2009 World Classics, and in 2014 he was awarded a one-year contract with the Japanese League team named Yokohama DeNA BayStars. There he completed the 2014/15 season before joining the American league.
Yuli Gurriel’s MLB Career
After the conclusion of the Caribbean Baseball Championship, which took place in February 2016 in the Dominican Republic, Gurriel was certified by the MLB to be a free player in the league. In July of the same year, the player was signed by the Houston Astros of the MLB under a five-year contract worth 47.5 million.
Yuli joined the American Baseball League and had his first professional appearance in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League while playing for the Gulf Coast Astros. After two games he was sent to the California League Lancaster JetHawks and after four games he was promoted to the Texas League where he played five games for the Corpus Christi Hooks. He also spent some time with the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team before returning to the professional league.
In 2017, the Cuban star helped the Astros team win the World Series Championship while beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1.
Why Was He Suspended?
The Astros star was suspended for his misconduct during the 2017 World Series Competition. Yuli was suspended after an inappropriate hand gesture against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher, Yu Darvish. His action was perceived as a racist gesture, which raised some eyebrows in the league. After the game, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the player would be punished.
The commissioner also stated that the Cuban player would serve a suspension of five games in the regular 2018 season and would not receive any payment during the period of his suspension. Yuli, on the other hand, missed the first five games of the Astros in the 2018 season and continued to apologize for his behavior, pledging to behave well in the league from then on. He also agreed to sign up for sensitivity training during the off-season.
Yuli Gurriel’s Family – Brother and Wife
Yuli comes from a baseball-loving nation, and his family is no exception. His father is a former baseball player and Olympic medalist, while his younger brother Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also makes waves in the game. The two brothers played professionally for Sancti Spiritu in the Cuban League before joining the American Baseball League. Lourdes Jr. became an international free agent in 2016 and signed a seven-year career contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The contract is valued at $22 million, and he has been a great addition to the Blue Jays’ team to date.
In addition to his flourishing baseball career, Yuli Gurriel has an interesting love life but is very secretive about his wife and children. The baseball star is happily married to a beautiful Cuban lady, but nothing is known about their relationship, not even the name of his wife. Both have a son Jayden, who was born in July 2018.