Batista named Caribbean Series MVP
Domincan third baseman hit three homers, drove in eight
CAROLINA, P.R. -- The heroics of Tony Batista early in the Caribbean Series set the tempo for the Dominican Republic's Cibao Eagles.
Batista's standout moments didn't go unnoticed in the Eagles' Series championship run.
The Dominican third baseman was honored as the Caribbean Series' MVP by media attending the event.
Batista finished the six-game tournament batting .259 (7-for-27) with three home runs and eight RBIs.
"It's a great feeling winning it for your country," Batista said. "We played for each other and it was great to get it for your country. It's a great moment."
Cibao, the Series champion, received a big boost from Batista in the first-game of the series. In Friday's 18-inning, 4-3, win over Venezuela, Batista ended the marathon with a sacrifice fly. Earlier in the game, he homered.
He added two home runs in the Dominican's second game, including an inside-the-parker, in a 9-0 rout of Mexico.
Batista joked that he never expected to have a Series like this, especially collecting an inside-the-park home run.
"No one ever would guess I'd do that," he said. "That was a great moment."
The Dominican Republic captured the crown with a 5-1 record, losing 1-0 to Puerto Rico on Wednesday night at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium. But the title was decided on Tuesday.
Unsigned by any Major League club, Batista reportedly is drawing interest from San Diego, St. Louis and Milwaukee. He also has the option of playing for Monterrey, Mexico. Felix Fermin, the Cibao manager, is the manager of the Monterrey club.
Batista played for Minnesota in 2006.
Along with being MVP, Batista also was named to the tournament's All-Star team as the third baseman.
Miguel Tejada was named the All-Star shortstop.
"Winning with the Dominican Republic is what baseball is all about, winning for your country," Tejada said.
Tejada was happy for Batista.
"Tony Batista winning MVP, I am as happy for him as I would be if I had won," Tejada said.
For being MVP, Batista received a large trophy. Additionally, Chrysler Dodge presented a check for a $1,000 scholarship to a local school.
The rest of the Caribbean Stars are: catcher Alberto Castillo (Dominican Republic); first baseman Javier Valentin (Puerto Rico); second baseman Anderson Hernandez (Dominican Republic); Tejada; outfielder Armando Rios (Puerto Rico); outfielder Alex Fernandez (Dominican Republic); outfielder Oscar Salazar (Venezuela); designated hitter Juan Gonzalez (Puerto Rico); right-handed pitcher Jose Acevado (Dominican Republic), and left-handed pitcher Fabio Castro (Dominican Republic).
Fermin was named the tournament's top manager.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.