All it took was a single to center field off the bat of A’s infielder Vimael Machín at the top of the ninth to make the Criollos de Caguas crowned champions of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC).
Machín, who is spending his offseason in the Puerto Rico Winter League in winter ball, had his final hit of the game to lift his team, 7-6, over the Mayagüez Indians on Sunday. El Nuevo Dia reported this was the team’s 19th championship in the history of the team.
The team celebrated accordingly while hoisting the trophy above their heads. The trophy is complete with an etched visual of Clemente himself.
It would appear to be extra special for Machín, who sported Clemente’s No. 21 uniform on Sept. 9 (Roberto Clemente Day) last season, to honor the legendary player. Machín is a native of Puerto Rico.
Criollos de Caguas will be Puerto Rico’s representative in the 2021 Mazatlán Caribbean Series that begins on Jan. 31.
Machín, who was acquired by the A’s in 2019 during the Rule 5 Draft, is having a very solid winter ball campaign at the plate, batting .345/.379/.814 with 20 hits in 16 games with Los Criollos.
The A’s infielder is to be one of the top candidates to take over at shortstop in 2021 now that Marcus Semien is heading to the Blue Jays. However, there were talks last season about Machín needing more experience before he was to take on a more meaningful role.
But for now, at least gets to celebrate an impressive feat.