Cougars Sign a Pair of Puerto Rican
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (5-29-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University baseball team has
landed a pair of recruits from Puerto Rico
to join the Cougars starting with the 2013
baseball season as Efrain Montero, Jr. and
Roberto Cediel have decided to further their
education and continue their baseball
careers at MVNU.
Jr., a catcher/first baseman from Ponce,
Puerto Rico, posted a .413 batting average
in his most recent season with the Ponce
Glenview AA team before going on to hit .515
in the postseason. He played for the Ponce
Cardenales Baseball Club from 2005-2012 and
participated in the USSSA International Gold
Medal Games in both 2010 and 2011. He has
been selected to the Youth AA All-Star Team
for three consecutive years and is
considered to be among the top five catching
prospects in Puerto Rico for the 2012 June
Major League Baseball draft.
visited this past January and immediately
made an impression with our team," said MVNU
coach Keith Veale, who has posted a 774-395
record in 23 seasons leading the Cougars to
seven conference titles, five National
Christian College Athletic Association
national championships, and the program's
only two berths in the NAIA World Series.
"He has excellent receiving abilities and
demonstrated a quick, short swing at the
plate. He brings some great competitive
experiences with him, and I think he will
adjust to the collegiate game quickly. His
desire to pursue a career in the medical
field is an indication of his priority on
his academic degree. His father, Efrain Sr.,
played the first year that I became the head
coach at MVNU, and I am grateful that he
thought enough of his MVNU experience to
want the same for his son. I think that says
a lot about our baseball program and campus
In addition to playing
baseball, Montero, Jr. was inducted into the
National Honor Society and ranks second in
his graduating class at Academia Santa
"There are several reasons why
I decided to attend MVNU," said Montero, Jr.
of his college choice. "I really like the
school and felt welcomed. It is a peaceful
environment with a good combination of
education and spiritual values. It also has
a great baseball program and I was able to
get a scholarship to play there. Plus, my
father is an alumnus."
a third baseman/pitcher from Ponce, Puerto
Rica, will join his classmate Montero, Jr.
at MVNU. He helped the Ponce Glenview AA
team to an 18-and-under second place finish
at the Puerto Rico National Championship and
also played in the USSSA International Games
in both 2010 and 2011. He posted a .453
batting average with five home runs and 45
RBI during the 2010-2011 travel team season.
"Roberto is a focused baseball player,"
said Veale. "During his workout on campus,
he endeared himself to his future teammates
with his energy and enthusiasm. He has solid
infield skills at third base and has the
potential to help us on the mound with his
arm. He has enough velocity and his
secondary pitches will get outs. He is a
strong student with specific career goals.
We believe he has some great intangibles to
add not only to our team, but the campus as
In addition to playing
baseball, Cediel was also inducted into the
National Honor Society.
to attend MVNU are to go to a well-rounded
university with their morals and priorities
well-set," said Cediel. "(MVNU) has an
excellent faculty to help greatly as a
student in your academic career. They also
have a great baseball program that can
sharpen my skills on the field. But most
importantly, MVNU is the kind of place where
you are not a number - you're a person who
everybody knows and loves."
The Cougars are coming off a 33-20
season in 2012 in which the team earned its
third straight trip to the NAIA National
Championship Opening Round by winning the
Mid-Central College Conference Tournament
title. Over the years, the Cougars have had
13 players drafted by Major League Baseball
teams including Tim Belcher, who was the No.
1 overall pick in the 1983 draft. Seven
other players have signed free agent
contracts to play professional baseball.