Leonel Moa

From BR Bullpen

Mario Leonel Moa Jals

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

First baseman Leonel Moa was a top Cuban slugger who never made the Cuban national team. He finished his career in Italy.

Playing for Camagüey in the 1982-1983 Serie Nacional, Moa tied for the league lead with 45 strikeouts. On December 10, 1989, Leonel became the first player in the history of Cuban baseball (either amateur or professional) to blast four home runs in a contest; the record has since been matched but not broken.

Moa hit 23 home runs for the Camagüeyanos in the 1990 Series Selectivas to lead that circuit. He drew 39 walks in the 1990-1991 Serie Nacional to lead the league. In 1993-1994, he was plunked 15 times, tops in the loop.

Overall, Moa played 15 seasons in Cuba and hit .285/.380/.518 with 272 homers and 857 RBI in 4,793 AB. Through 2009, he ranked second in Castro-era league history with 1,057 strikeouts and 14th in home runs (272, the Camaguey record). He was 8th in putouts (9,467), 11th in total chances (10,001), tied for 5th in fielding percentage (.992) and tied for first with Agustín Lescaille in triple plays turned (4).

After his Cuban career ended, Moa landed in Italy for one season with Rimini in 1996. He hit .457/.566/.875 with 19 home runs, 44 walks, 55 runs and 69 RBI in 51 regular season games before "falling" to .267/.476/.733 with 7 runs and 4 RBI in five playoff contests. He led the Serie A1 in average, was 2 homers behind leader George Canale and was 7 RBI behind Francesco Casolari, coming close to a Triple Crown at age 33-34.

Moa later managed Camagüey. He coached for the Ecuadorian national team in the 2001 Bolivarian Games.