Yorelvis Charles Martínez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 187 lb.
At age 21, Charles burst onto the scene in 1999-2000, hitting .353 as the shortstop for Ciego de Ávila. He led the Cuban Serie Nacional in average in the first season that Cuba had transitioned back to wooden bats.
Charles hit .354/.427/.537 in the 2001-2002 season, just missing the top 10 in the league in average. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, he was 2 for 5 with a double, triple and two walks as the backup SS to Eduardo Paret. He batted .325/.423/.525 in 2002-2003 with 66 RBI in 88 games. He was 0 for 1 in the 2003 Baseball World Cup and was with Cuba for the qualifier for the 2004 Olympics.
In 2003-2004, Yorelvis hit .355/.444/.521 and tied Yoandy Garlobo for 8th in the Serie Nacional in average. He was 0 for 3 for Cuba in the 2004 Olympics and did not play for their national team for at least the next four years.
Charles hit .324/.403/.533 for Ciego de Ávila in 2004-2005 and tied for the league lead with 7 sacrifice flies, then .344/.402/.522 in 2005-2006. He had 16 home runs and 72 RBI in 90 games in 2005-2006.
In 2006-2007, the 28-year-old infielder produced at a .290/.355/.411 clip in an off-year. He bounced back somewhat in 2007-2008; the third baseman batted .304/.394/.484. Moving to first base in 2008-2009, he hit over .360 for the first month of the season and was put on Cuba's preliminary roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final cut. He finished the year strong, with a .387/.456/.579 batting line and .996 fielding percentage. He was third in the league in average behind Michel Enriquez and Yulieski Gourriel. He was named the All-Star 1B, beating out slugger Joan Carlos Pedroso.
Charles fell back to .322/.378/.521 in 2009-2010, productive but not in the top 10 in any offensive category. He hit .318/.422/.468 in 2010-2011. Continuing to decline with age, he was at .296/.373/.407 in 2011-2012. He starred in Game 4 of the finals, going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI as Ciego de Ávila won its first title. He hit .272/.352/.315 in 2012-2013.
He remained the team's starting first baseman in 2013-2014 (.270/.360/.382) then had a somewhat resurgent 2014-2015 at .321/.376/.447 as the team won its second crown. He hit .305/.372/.393 in 2015-2016 and was still drawing more walks than striking out. Ciego de Ávila repeated as the titlists. He was 2 for 8 with a RBI in the 2016 Caribbean Series. He wound down in 2016-2017, producing at a .243/.323/.325 rate.
Overall, he had hit .314/.385/.460 for his career and fielded .983. As of February 2021, he was 40th in Serie Nacional history in hits (1,727, between Manuel Benavides and Luis Casanova). He became Ciego de Ávila's skipper in 2020-2021, replacing longtime leader Roger Machado. They went 33-39 that winter.