Miami (Fla.) St. Brendan School has always been an also-ran on the Florida prep baseball scene, a small private school with even smaller expectations on the field. Suddenly that has changed, thanks in large part to a second baseman who can't quite be described as small. Rather, he's tiny.
Junior switch-hitting second baseman Jose "Chiqui" Carrera has emerged as one of the top prep baseball players in the Miami area despite his incredibly diminutive size. Just how small is Carrera? Small enough that he makes the likes of Dustin Pedroia look like a giant.
According to the Miami Herald, the undersized junior measures up at just 5-foot-1 and 135 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly: A 5-foot-1 infielder (don't believe the elaborate overstatement of Carrera's height listed at the end of his highlight reel below) is the sparkplug behind a resurrected program which has already knocked off the 2011 state champion (Miami Archbishop McCarthy) and traditional powerhouse Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep.
Given those dimensions, it isn't hard to figure out where Carrera is in the team photo above.
At that height, it's easy to see how opponents could overlook the threat Carrera poses in the batters box, but they do so at their own peril. The Sabres star enters the weekend games batting .571 in the team's leadoff spot. He also has three home runs and 13 steals, well on his way to breaking his sophomore mark of seven home runs already. Those stats have already drawn serious recruiting interest from Boston College, Fordham and a handful of other Division I college programs.
"Pound for pound, he is one of the best [high school] players I've seen," St. Brendan associate head baseball coach Joe Cubas told the Herald.
According to Cubas' son, St. Brendan catcher Dayan Cubas, Carrera has often faced taunts about his size from opposing teams. Yet the Cuban-born infielder who first arrived in Florida at age 8 almost always gets the last laugh, as his stats and St. Brendan's 16-5 record attests to.
"He's a big story," Dayan Cubas told the Herald. "I've never seen a player his size play like he does. But the reality is that he's the best player on our team. Once they see him play, they can't say anything."
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