The former MLB All-Star managed Puerto Rico in the WBSC Premier12 2019 and the Olympic qualifiers in 2021.
The Puerto Rican Baseball Federation has named former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Juan ‘Igor’ Gonzalez as the manager of the island’s U-23 National Team.
The 52-year old Gonzalez had a 16-year MLB career, highlighted by 434 home runs, two American League MVP awards and six Silver Slugger awards.
Gonzalez managed Puerto Rico in the WBSC Premier12 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers (in 2021).
He led Puerto Rico to their first-ever gold medal in baseball at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Under his leadership, Puerto Rico also won the gold medal at 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia. In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he served on the coaching staff for a Puerto Rico squad that reached the Final.
“I trust his leadership to assume such an important responsibility,” Puerto Rican Baseball Federation President José Daniel Quiles Rosas said.
Gonzalez led the Grises de Humacao to the Puerto Rican Double-A league title in 2021.
Most of Puerto Rico’s U-23 National Team players will come from the league’s rosters. Gonzalez is working with a 29-player pre-selection.
The WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier is scheduled from 10 to 19 June in Aguascalientes, Mexico.