Cuban Pitcher Defects

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HAVANA (AP) - Cuba has acknowledged the defection of pitcher Aroldis Chapman, a week after he walked away from a tournament in
the Netherlands.

The Communist Party daily Granma said Friday that Chapman has hired baseball agent Jaime Torres to represent him. Cuba previously had said nothing about Chapman's defection, despite widespread media coverage in exile-dominated Miami.

The 21-year-old Chapman attracted widespread attention during the World Baseball Classic with a fastball touching 100 mph. He is considered among the top left-handed pitching prospects in the world, and the best pitcher to abandon Cuba since Jose Contreras left in 2002.

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