Why Do Major League Baseball Teams Have Baseball Academies In The Dominican Republic

Baseball academies thrive in the Dominican Republic

1st of July, 2015 PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – In 1956, utility man Osvaldo Virgil made history by becoming the first Dominican to play in Major League Baseball. It would take another 30 years before the Caribbean island could boast 100 players in the world’s premier baseball league. During the following three decades, that number would increase by a factor of six, thanks to the establishment of academies to take advantage of what appears to be an unlimited reservoir of talent. The creation of baseball academies over a wide portion of the Dominican Republic – an experiment that began modestly in the late 1970s and early 1980s – finally took shape with the launch of the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas in March 1987, which was the culmination of a decade-long effort.

According to estimates from the Major League Baseball office in Santo Domingo, all 30 major league teams now have academies, which, when combined with the incentives paid to new prospects, provide an average annual economic impact of more than $90 million in the region.

The more contemporary and opulent academies have cost between $6 million and $8.5 million, which is a significant figure when compared to the $785,000 that was spent on the construction of Campo Las Palmas.

In addition to Campo Las Palmas being renovated, Philadelphia and Minnesota are finishing up their respective academies, and St.

  • “The academies have had a significant positive influence.
  • baseball sector, which includes a share of the earnings earned by Dominican players on 40-man rosters, provides $150-170 million to the economy of the island.
  • In addition to the players, each major league academy in the Dominican Republic employs an average of 30 full-time staff, excluding the players.
  • Louis Cardinals experimented with the idea of having dedicated spaces to train and house their prospects in the Dominican Republic.

According to Avila, who spoke to ESPNDeportes.com from his home in Miami, “O’Malley told me if we were going to do something, we were going to do it right.” Avila continued, “The Dodgers wanted a location where players would have the ideal environment to develop their physical ability but also a place where they would be safe, where they could learn about the problems they would encounter in the United States, and where they would feel at home.” Campo Las Palmas, located on a vast tract of ground covering 96,000 square meters in Guerra, a town in the province of Santo Domingo, to the east of the capital, transformed the way Dominican talent was harnessed and nurtured.

It was the first of its kind in the world.

In this hamlet, pitcher Pedro Martnez, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in July, and his brothers Ramón and Jess were born and raised.

“When I arrived at Campo Las Palmas for the first time, I felt I had arrived in baseball paradise.

Everything is in working order, the fields are clean, and the terrain is completely level “As Mondes, who was named Rookie of the Year in the National League by Baseball America in 1994, a two-time Golden Glove winner, and a member of the 30-30 club twice during his 13-year major league career, explained, Following his retirement from baseball, Mondesi entered politics and is presently serving his second straight term as mayor of San Cristóbal, his hometown in the Dominican Republic’s southern province of Santiago.

As the number of Dominican players in Major League Baseball expanded as a result of the expansion of the academy system, From 110 in 1987 to 309 in 2000, 503 in 2009, and 640 when infielder Wilmer Difó made his Major League Baseball debut with the Washington Nationals on May 19, the number has increased dramatically.

Pedro Martnez, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 91.1 percent of all possible votes, was a three-time Cy Young Award winner who played for the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets, Yankees, and Phillies during an All-Star career that included stops with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets, Yankees, and Phillies.

When they become eligible, outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and third baseman Adrián Beltré will be strong contenders for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Beltré is still in the game.

Only Oakland and St.

To give an example, Eleodoro Arias, the pitching coach who worked with the Martnez brothers and most of the Latin American pitchers who have come out of the Dodgers’ system over the past two decades, said, “Regular people will never be able to understand how important the academies have been in training players like Pedro Martnez, to give an example.” In addition, “there was a lot of extra effort on regular-season workdays and over the offseason, which was made possible by having the correct environment, which helped Pedro and many others flourish,” Arias explained.

“Raising the number of players who are signed, speeding and enhancing their development, and increasing the proportion of players who reach their objective of playing in the major leagues have all been made possible by the creation of baseball academies.

Aside from teaching technique, the academies have also implemented educational programs that include English classes, leadership workshops, anger and stress management, etiquette and protocol, a foundation in American culture and formal education for the players, who are generally between the ages of 17 and 19.

They are sobering in their numbers: According to statistics released by Mother Jones magazine in 2013, less than 3 percent of prospects who were signed in the Dominican Republic in 2006 made it to the major leagues, compared to 11.5 percent of those signed in the United States during the same year.

  1. In the main leagues, fifty percent of players come from North American institutions, 25 percent come directly out of high school, and 25 percent come from the overseas market.
  2. However, not everything is as lovely as it appears.
  3. Dr.
  4. In addition, the committee determined that the Nationals took the necessary efforts to ensure that sufficient medical treatment was provided and that procedure was followed in order to avoid a meningitis epidemic on their property.
  5. “The health of the children is really important to us, and it is a top priority.

We’ve placed a strong emphasis on upgrading current protocols from the outset of the project. We take a very aggressive approach in this regard “Pérez said himself. Enrique Rojas is a sports writer for ESPNDeportes.com based in Los Angeles.

The Dominican Republic Major League Baseball Academies: Facilities of Opportunity

Emily Katherine Rollo is a member of the Washington & Lee University Class of 2017 and a graduate of the university. This paper and poster will be used as a capstone project. Today, about one-third of all Major League Baseball players come from Latin America. The Dominican Republic is the country with the highest representation on all MLB teams, aside from the United States. The recent huge growth in the number of Dominican players in the Major League Baseball is largely attributable to the existence of baseball schools on the island.

Young players are given opportunity to succeed as players and as people in general for the rest of their life, both inside the white lines of the pitch and beyond.

A player’s life is uprooted as soon as he signs with a team, and he is immediately removed from his impoverished surroundings and given the opportunities and resources he needs to improve as a player while also receiving an accredited high school education and learning cultural adaptation techniques.

The institutions provide players with the opportunity to escape poverty while also advancing their entire development.

Emily Rollo is a young woman who lives in the United States.

Baseball in the Dominican Republic – Wikipedia

The baseball stadium Estadio Quisqueya is located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Baseball in the Dominican Republic
Country Dominican Republic
Governing body FEDOBE
National team(s) Dominican Republic
First played late-19th century
Club competitions
Dominican Professional Baseball LeagueDominican Summer League
International competitions
World Baseball Classic

Baseball is the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic. It is also the most expensive. It is a prominent sport in the nation, and it was first played in the city of San Pedro de Macors by Cuban immigrants in the late nineteenth century, according to historical records. It is the Dominican Republic that boasts the second-highest number of baseball players in Major League Baseball, after only the United States (MLB). The Dominican Republic national baseball team has won theBaseball World Cup in 1948 and the World Baseball Classic in 2013.


During the Ten Years’ War in Cuba, many Cuban residents were forced to flee the country in the 1870s. Baseball was brought to the Dominican Republic by many of those who migrated there to play the sport. The expert class of the United States was formed in 1890. Ozama and Nuevo were the first two clubs to open their doors. TheLiceyclub inSanto Domingo was founded on November 7, 1907. It is the oldest club in the country. As early as the 1930s, it had emerged into a significant source of talented players whose guardians were typically employed at sugar refineries.

Rafael Trujillo designed and built the main stadium in the mid-1950s. Dominican players first began traveling to the United States to play for Major League Baseball in the late 1970s, with utility infielder Ozzie Virgil leading the way.

Cultural impact

Baseball not only contributed to the strengthening of the Dominican Republic’s ties with the United States, but it also had a significant impact on the culture of the Dominican Republic as a whole, according to historians. Nowadays, baseball represents a dream and a hope for a brighter future for ambitious players, and it serves to bring baseball fans (old and young) from across various Spanish-speaking nations together in a common cause. The rise of baseball in the Dominican Republic has also had a significant influence on the economy of the country as a whole, with training facilities and professional games producing around $1 billion each year.

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In 1951, a summer league was established. It became a member of the professional organization for the 1955–56 season. Since then, the league has drawn a large number of great players from the various professional leagues across the world. Beginning with the 1955 season, the country’s worldwide influence developed, garnering the attention of people all over the world. Dominicans accounted for 83 of Major League Baseball’s 868 players as of the 2015 season’s opening day. At the start of the 2016 season, no country other than the United States has made as many contributions as the United States.

With six clubs, it is the highest level of professional baseball played in the Dominican Republic and also the most lucrative.


La Normal Stadium hosts a match between the two best clubs from the previous season at the end of the summer season every year. A important cultural event in the Dominican Republic, it has drawn thousands of enthusiastic admirers from all over the world. More information about the victors of these playoff games may be found in the following table:

Titles By Team

Team Titles Runners-up Years Champion Years Runner-up
Tigres del Licey 22 (2) 15 (1) 1951, 1953, 1958-59, 1963-64, 1969-70, 1970-71, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1990-91, 1993-94, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2013-14, 2016-17 (1924, 1929) 1952, 1954, 1956-57, 1971-72, 1975-76, 1977-78, 1985-86, 1988-89, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2015-16,2017-2018, 2019-2020 (1922)
Águilas Cibaeñas 22 18 (2) 1952, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1971-72, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1977-78, 1978-79, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2017-2018, 2020-21 1953, 1955-56, 1960-61, 1963-64, 1969-70, 1973-74, 1976-77, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1989-90, 1993-94, 1994-95, 2001-02, 2005-06, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17 (1936, 1937)
Leones del Escogido 16 (1) 13 (2) 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1959-60, 1960-61, 1968-69, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2015-16 (1922) 1951, 1958-59, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1970-71, 1978-79, 1990-91, 1996-97, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2013-14 (1924, 1929)
Estrellas Orientales 3 (1) 14 1954, 1967-68, 2018-19 (1936) 1957-58, 1959-60, 1968-69, 1972-73, 1974-75, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1991-92, 1995-96, 1999-00, 2010-11, 2014-15
Toros del Este 3 3 1994-95, 2010-11, 2019-20 1984-85, 1992-93, 2018-19
Gigantes del Cibao 1 4 2014-15 2003-04, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2020-21
Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo 0 (1) 0 (1937)

Baseball academies

Baseball is played in the Dominican Republic. Baseball schools are where Major League Baseball recruiters go to nurture the talent they locate all around Latin America, according to the league. By establishing Campo Las Palmas in 1987, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first Major League Baseball club to do so in the Dominican Republic. Campo Las Palmas is a baseball academy located in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is now home to a baseball academy for every single team in the Major League Baseball (MLB).

It is possible that baseball academies in the Dominican Republic are the only avenue for many young boys and their families to escape poverty.

The reality, however, is that only two percent of Dominican recruits are actually able to make a living playing baseball in Major League Baseball, resulting in many of these young recruits finding themselves between the ages of 19 and 21 without an education, without work skills, and without job prospects.

Consequently, several baseball academies around the country have made an attempt to add educational programs that teach English and financial skills to their recruits in order to better prepare them for the future of the sport.


With each passing year, the list of prominent names continues to increase, and it now includes some of history’s most important figures, such as Juan Marichal, Felipe Alou, Bartolo Colón, Tony Fernandez and others. Some of the more recent and well-known Major League Baseball names are as follows:

Pedro Martínez

Originally from Manoguayabo, Pedro Martnez made his professional baseball debut in 1992 and played in the Major League Baseball from 1992 until 2009. He played for five different clubs, but he is most remembered for his time with the Boston Red Sox, when he teamed up with David Ortiz to help the team win the World Series in 2004. Pitcher Pedro Martnez held the record for the greatest lifetime victory % by a pitcher from 2002 to 2006 within that time period. He was the first Latin American pitcher to record at least 300 strikeouts in a season and 3,000 strikeouts in a lifetime, earning him three Cy Young Awards in his career.

Martnez was the only pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts in less than 3,000 innings pitched, and he did so in just over 3,000 innings.

In 2015, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa was born on November 12, 1968, in the town of San Pedro de Macors, Honduras. Sosa was a slugger who had his greatest years as a member of the Chicago Cubs organization. Sosa had a significant impact on many Dominicans and is most remembered for his record-breaking season in which he blasted a career-high 61 home runs.

David Ortiz

David Ortiz debuted in Major League Baseball in 1997, but he struggled with injuries that hampered his development. Ortiz joined with the Boston Red Sox in 2003, although he did not appear in many games until he was designated as the team’s designated hitter later that season. In 2004, Ortiz’s accomplishments made him well-known around the world. During the 2004 season, he hit 41 home runs and drove in 139 runs while hitting.301 and averaging a.301 batting average. He and Martinez helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series championship in 86 years, a feat that had previously been impossible.

Robinson Canó

Robinson Canó (born October 22, 1982 in San Pedro de Macors, Dominican Republic) is a professional baseball player who plays second base. Canó understood from a young age that he wanted to be a professional baseball player. His first professional contract came with the New York Yankees in 2001, when he was just 18 years old and a free agent. Canó has played for the Seattle Mariners since then, then on December 3, 2018, he was moved to the New York Mets, where he signed a five-year contract.

Most Valuable Player

Season Shell Awards Apollo Productions
1971-72 Jesús Frías (EO) / Pedro Borbón (TL)
1972-73 Winston Llenas (AC)
1973-74 Teodoro Martínez (TL)
1974-75 Rafael Batista (EO)
1975-76 Miguel Diloné (AC)
1976-77 Miguel Diloné (AC) (2)
1977-78 Carlos Julio Pérez (TL) Carlos Julio Pérez (TL)
1978-79 Ramón Pérez (AC) Bob Beall (AC)
1979-80 Rafael Landestoy (TL) Jerome Dybzenski (TL)
1980-81 Tony Peña (AC) Tony Peña (AC)
1981-82 Tony Peña (AC) (2) Tony Peña (AC) (2)
1982-83 Tony Peña (AC) (3) Tony Peña (AC) (3) / César Gerónimo (TL)
1983-84 Rufino Linares (CS) Rufino Linares (CS)
1984-85 Julio Solano (EO) Ken Howell (TL)
1985-86 Rufino Linares (EO) (2) Rufino Linares (LE) (2)
1986-87 Tony Peña (AC) (4) Robert Brower (AE)
1987-88 Félix Fermín (AC) Mark Parent (EO)
1988-89 Domingo Michel (TL) Domingo Michel (TL)
1989-90 Félix José (TL) Dave Hansen (TL)
1990-91 Bernardo Tatis (AC) Andújar Cedeño (AE)
1991-92 José Núñez (LE) Luis Mercedes (EO)
1992-93 Bernardo Tatis (AC) (2) Tom Marsh (AC)
1993-94 Silvestre Campusano (TL) Gerónimo Berroa (LE)
1994-95 Domingo Martínez (AC) Domingo Martínez (AC)
1995-96 Mario Brito (LE) Sherman Obando (AC)
1996-97 Tony Batista (AC) Tony Batista (AC)
1997-98 José Oliva (EO) José Oliva (EO)
1998-99 Adrian Beltré (EO) Adrian Beltré (EO)
1999-00 David Ortíz (LE) David Ortíz (LE)
2000-01 Félix José (EO) (2) Félix José (EO)
2001-02 Mendy López (AC) Eric Byrnes (TL)
2002-03 Félix José (EO) (3) Félix José (EO) (2)
2003-04 Julio Ramírez (GC) Julio Ramírez (GC)
2004-05 Erick Almonte (EO) Erick Almonte (EO)
2005-06 Esteban Germán (AE) Willis Otañez (TL)
2006-07 Mendy López (AC) (2) Erick Almonte (GC) (2)
2007-08 Emilio Bonifacio (TL) Brayan Peña (GC)
2008-09 Víctor Díaz (AC) Víctor Díaz (AC)
2009-10 Juan Francisco (GC) Juan Francisco (GC)
2010-11 Héctor Luna (AC) Juan Francisco (GC) (2)
2011-12 Joaquín Arias (AC) Joaquín Arias (AC)
2012-13 Héctor Luna (AC) (2) / Mauro Gómez (LE) Héctor Luna (AC)
2013-14 Gregory Polanco (LE) Gregory Polanco (LE)
2014-15 Cristhian Adames (TE) Marcos Mateo (EO)
2015-16 Audy Ciriaco (EO) Tyler White (EO)
Temporada Premios Total Producciones Apolo
2016-17 Rubén Sosa (LE) Rubén Sosa (LE)
2017-18 Franchy Cordero (LE) Franchy Cordero (LE)
2018-19 Jordany Valdespín (TE) Jordany Valdespín (TE)
2019-20 Peter O’Brien (TE) Peter O’Brien (TE)
2020-21 Ronald Guzmán (GC) Ronald Guzmán (GC)

See also

  • Sport in the Dominican Republic
  • The Dominican Republic national baseball team
  • And other topics. The following is a list of Dominican Republic-born Major League Baseball players.


As previously reported by Baseball America, Major League Baseball will permit teams to host Dominican instructional league programs at their academies in the Dominican Republic beginning on Oct. 19. A distinction is made between the Dominican instructional league and the instructional league that teams participate in in the United States of America. Many clubs begin their Dominican instructional league in October and continue it until the end of November on a regular year’s schedule. Their program is made up of a combination of practices and games against other organizations, with some clubs having a restricted game schedule and others having three to four games each week.

  • Since March, clubs have mostly suspended activity at their academies, with the exception of a few teams that have kept their academies open solely to accommodate Venezuelan players who were unable or did not want to return to their native country.
  • M any of those players did participate in the Tricky League (an unofficial league for July 2 signings) and the Dominican instructs this past summer, and some of them are now in Florida or Arizona for the United States instructs this summer.
  • Most of the time, the games will feature unsigned “tryout” players, which are amateur players who are eligible to join with a professional team now or the next year.
  • In addition, any players a team expects to sign on Jan.
  • After January 15, it’s likely that teams will come up with another program to accommodate those signings who want to play games before the start of the 2021 season.
  • So, for example, if the Rangers play a game at the Mets school, a Rangers scout may attend the game, but scouts from other clubs would not be permitted to go.

It is being considered by the commissioner’s office whether to implement an optional initiative that would allow teams to share data and footage from Dominican instructors with other clubs who choose to participate.

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Batting for a dream: Dominican young men pin hopes on baseball, MLB training camps

THE CITY OF SAN PEDRO DE MACORS, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC In this town famed for its baseball potential, Alvin Guzmán’s day consists of going to the gym, taking some English courses, and then “getting into the fire,” as he describes his intense training at the Arizona Diamondbacks camp in this town recognized for its baseball prowess. Guzmán signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks to play in the minor levels last year. Although the deal has altered his family’s circumstances, it is the prospect of making the majors that motivates the boy.

The Dominican Republic has produced 749 Major League Baseball players.

Baseball brings in between $75 million and $80 million per year into the Dominican Republic, which explains why so many Dominican boys see baseball as a means of escaping extreme poverty and why independent trainers like Alfredo Arias, who runs the AriasGoodman Academy, a privately owned camp, see it as a good business opportunity.

  1. When a Dominican imagines himself or herself playing in the major leagues, it’s a wonderful sensation, says the player “Arias shared his thoughts.
  2. In the words of his father, Arturo Guzmán, “We come from the bottom.” “I told him baseball had a bright future since he’d always enjoyed it since he was a youngster,” says the coach.
  3. “Everything I do is for her,” he explained.
  4. and give it to her as a gift.”

Risks and perils

Although there have been reports of corruption, bribes, side agreements with smugglers, and document falsification in the baseball pipeline from the Dominican Republic to the big leagues for years, the reality is that it is far more complicated. According to Sports Illustrated, the United States Justice Department is looking into allegations of corruption in the recruiting of players from Latin America and the Caribbean, with a special focus on Cuba. MLB teamed with trainers last year to reduce the usage of performance-enhancing drugs by players, which helped to alleviate some of the issues.

  1. A trainer informed Misael Ponciano, then 18 years old, about a substance that would help him throw harder and run faster.
  2. “I requested 5,000 pesos (about $100) from my father.
  3. In the words of his father, Melanio Perez Ponciano, the trainer injected his kid with potentially lethal amounts of steroid medication intended for horses.
  4. “I don’t want what happened to my kid to happen to any child anywhere in the world, not even here in the Dominican Republic or in any other nation in Latin America,” the older Ponciano expressed concern.
  5. Arias stated that, despite the fact that certain procedures are improving, baseball recruitment in the Dominican Republic is still primarily concerned with maximizing profits.
  6. Players at the major league level are getting tested positive,” says the author.
  7. Terrence Image courtesy of Antonio James / TNS via Getty Images Baseball continues to be a key attraction for Dominican teenagers, despite the risks, sacrifices, and limited chances of making it to the top leagues.
  8. “These players, basically, are the role models for these kids,” Arias said.

“If I get there, God willing, I’d like to stay and continue to assist my family,” he added in a statement. “Everything is a process,” says the author. “Anything is a possibility.” Follow NBC Latino on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Walk-off or Trade-off? Baseball and education in the Dominican Republic

It is a high-value worldwide enterprise today, but it may also lead to a dangerous educational gamble for young Dominicans, who may be forced to drop out of school to prepare for baseball. The annual Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, in which American players who have graduated from high school or college register for a highly regulated selection process, is not open to foreign kids. This is in contrast to the draft for American-born aspiring baseball players. Youth soccer players in the Dominican Republic who are signed to short-term professional contracts are instead recruited from the informal training system ofprogramas, which are administered by entrepreneurial training program directors and aided by buscones (coaches) (informal scouts).

There are currently four teams with camps in the Dominican Republic, and approximately 100 or less informal training programs are still in operation there as of 2017.

The Major League Baseball estimates that 2,000 – 4,000 Dominican youngsters participate in contractual training activities at the Dominican academies each year, a figure that indicates an exceptional pool of talent gathered from informal programs around the nation, according to the league.

According to estimates, between 20,000 and 80,000 kids participate in the roughly 1,500 informal feeder programs each year, representing between 2 percent and 8 percent of all Dominican boys between the ages of 10 and 20.

Youth, Education, and Poverty in the Dominican Republic

All Dominican baseball aspirants, who are disproportionately impoverished, face significant, ingrained incentives to drop out of school totally in order to devote their time and energy to the study of the game. Children from outside the major metropolitan areas where the training programs are concentrated will frequently relocate with family, friends, or even the program directors themselves in order to be able to participate in an intensive, full-time training and playing regimen throughout their early adolescent years, which can last for several months.

  • This group accounts for an average of 30 percent of all youngsters aged 15-24 over the whole area, according to recent estimations.
  • Young Dominican boys already have a higher rate of dropping out, failing, or repeating than young Dominican girls, which is approximately double that of females.
  • Almost all of these risk factors are significant hurdles to the growth of Dominican society and the country’s economic development.
  • Education in the Dominican Republic is already a difficult industry, which makes the tradeoff decision youngpeloterosface that much more difficult to make.

It is a particularly serious problem in the Dominican Republic, where early literacy rates are consistently among the lowest in Latin America among the 17 countries tested by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization comparative education examinations– with boys reading at lower levels than girls by the third and sixth grades, respectively.

In conclusion, all of the available evidence should demonstrate that the average path a low-income Dominican youngster follows on his way to an extremely unlikely baseball career is a well-established trajectory towards guaranteed socio-economic poverty.

Efforts at Integrating Baseball and Education

All students in the Dominican Republic are required to attend school until they reach the eighth grade, according to legislation passed in 1997. Several months later, the first Major League Baseball office was established in Santo Domingo, with the primary goal of curtailing the lawlessness that had surrounded the contracting of young players, which had included the falsification of birth certificates, the peddling of performance-enhancing drugs, and the exploitation of newly contracted players by buscones.

  1. Even before the passage of this law, numerous Major League Baseball organizations began to appreciate the need of educational support inside their own academies.
  2. Since then, the majority of clubs have implemented or renovated education programs within their respective academies, with some of these programs being of excellent quality.
  3. The difficulty that remains is teaching the boys who are enrolled in informal training programs and who are dropping out of school early, and it is one that has never been adequately addressed.
  4. It is undeniable, however, that the percentage is insignificant.
  5. Since 2005, when writer Dave Zirin first wrote about what he perceived as the “harvesting of talent.
  6. If they want to pursue a professional baseball career, the vast majority of Dominican youngsters will eventually need to rely on sources of revenue other than baseball, and they will require sufficient education and training to do so.

Finding the Sweet Spot: Evidence-based Interventions and Shared Ownership

It is necessary to have a shared knowledge of the issues that player development presents to education in the Dominican Republic, as well as vice versa. When the Ministry of Education, the Major League Baseball (MLB) office, the MLB Players Association (MLBPA), donors, and other interested partners have better and more adequate information on numbers, demographics, and incentives, they can more effectively navigate the challenges faced by all parties involved and seek shared or individual solutions.

The creation of a best-practices database with comparative information on the community/education outreach programs of individual baseball training programs for adults in charge to draw upon, or the assignment of community education liaisons from the Community Education Unit at the Ministry of Education to act as education social workers who can help youngsters and their families chart alternative education and career paths, are examples of light-lift solutions.

Baseball Cares, a collaboration established in 2015 by the United States Embassy, Major League Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association, works with schools and communities surrounding MLB academies.

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However, it might be broadened to target specific programs, and to direct funding toward improving retention rates and learning levels.

The Dominican Sports and Education Academy, for example, might be a good example of this.

Even though the National Commission on Baseball-Related Dropouts is a good start, leadership from some of the more socially conscious, established Dominican players and former players, including those who have charitable foundations, will go a long way toward attracting the necessary attention and raising funds.

One caution for potential interventions: if anything is to be effective in bringing about good change, it must not be too disruptive to the financial and professional incentives that are deeply ingrained in the baseball prospect industry.

When considering the possibility of tighter government regulation of training programs to prevent school dropouts, it is easy to imagine that this would be more of a stick than a carrot if it were not accompanied by funding for programs that allow baseball prospects to remain in school while training at the same intensity level.

As well, the United States will continue to gain from the involvement of Dominican baseball players in Major and Minor League baseball.

Kids nowadays that are signed to academy contracts are provided a multitude of possibilities that make their life choices substantially less contingent upon making it to the major leagues—and more fruitful if they do.

Getting a quality education is hard enough, and the extra, perverse incentives for youngsters to dropout should not be disregarded.

Michael C. Lisman is a former Education Associate at the Inter-American Dialogue, and a current PhD student at Johns Hopkins University, where his dissertation research focuses on education in the Dominican Republic. The opinions expressed in this article are his own.

Sources consulted

Anderson, S., et al (2018). Approximately 27% of Major League Baseball players are of foreign origin. Forbes magazine published an article on April 17, 2018 titled Educa is an abbreviation for education (2015). Informe de Progreso Educativo (Educational Progress Report). EPDC stands for Educa and Inter-American Dialogue. Education in the Dominican Republic: EPDC national profile (2014):Ganimian, A. J. Education in the Dominican Republic: EPDC national profile (2014):Ganimian, A. J. (2016). Is it true that Latin American children’s reading abilities are improving?

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  6. (1999).
  7. Wasch, A.
  8. What happens to the children who are left behind: The impact of Major League Baseball on education in the Dominican Republic.
  9. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) (2017).
  10. So, major leaguers, deny it.
  11. It was published in The Nation, New York, 281 (16), page 22.

Baseball Academies In The Dominican Republic

Follow Sam Evans (Baseball Writer) on Twitter: @RJA206. MLB Reports may be followed on Twitter. Follow RJA206 on Twitter. It was estimated that about 10 percent of all Major League Baseball players were born in the Dominican Republic in 2012. This is despite the fact that the population of the United States of America is more than thirty-one times bigger than the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One might wonder how the Dominican Republic manages to create such a large number of baseball players.

  • In the Dominican Republic, baseball academies are affiliated with 28 of the 30 teams.
  • The majority of academies are located in and around the Santo Domingo and San Pedro De Macoris districts, which are located on the Southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
  • San Pedro De Macoris has produced players such as Sammy Sosa, Robinson Cano, andRico Carty, to name a few examples.
  • The amount of money that goes into the construction of these factories for the purpose of producing baseball players is mind-boggling.
  • As recently as last winter, the Mariners revealed intentions to invest $7 million in a new facility in the Dominican Republic.
  • That is, perhaps, the most compelling argument for motivating teams to allocate their resources to Latin America.
  • More than half of Dominicans live in poverty, and these academies give an opportunity for youngsters to contribute to lifting their families out of poverty by teaching them valuable life skills.

The academies provide Dominican children with the opportunity to study English and participate in other activities while also realizing their full physical potential.

These young ballplayers attend baseball academies where they play baseball every single day of the week.

Instructing coaches and scouts are on hand to provide guidance to the athletes all day.

In some academies, players are given an hour or two each day to volunteer in their local community to help those in need.

As clubs get more and more knowledge about how to properly nurture talent, the facilities in Latin America will only become more and more luxurious.

Aside from the main fields, the facility will contain a practice field, an agility field, illuminated and covered batting cages, numerous bullpens, dorms that can accommodate up to 80 players, a dining hall, classrooms, and a computer lab.

Eventually, the previously cockroach-infested schools will be transformed into five-star hotels, as the years pass.

However, as is the case with many “quick money” scenarios, the money does not last long at all.

Academies provide a safe haven for children to get away from the streets and focus on their baseball skills.

* The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of mlbreports.com.

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Dominican Republic baseball: a case study of a Major League Baseball team’s academy

Baseball in the Dominican Republic: a case study of a Major League Baseball team’s development program


Over the previous half-century, the Major League Baseball (MLB) workforce has seen significant transformations. While the United States was originally the exclusive source of Major League Baseball talent, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Japan have all emerged as fresh sources of talent on a worldwide scale in the last quarter-century. This global quest for potential has resulted in the exodus of talented players from their countries of origin to MLB schools for talent development in the Dominican Republic and other locations.

So the purpose of this dissertation was to investigate a Major League Baseball academy in the Dominican Republic to determine the elements of their talent selection process for players entering the professional baseball system, to understand the reasons that these players choose to pursue an MLB career, and to determine what obstacles the players believe and administrators anticipate will be difficult for them once they arrive in the United States.

  1. A case study approach was adopted, in which field notes and in-depth interviews with players and administrators were collected and analyzed.
  2. Throughout this dissertation, three articles are presented that help readers gain a better knowledge of the new global workforce in baseball.
  3. This examination of talent assessment methods also examined the manner in which a Major League Baseball club adapted or altered their approaches in order to account for cultural variations between the United States and the Dominican Republic.
  4. According to the findings of the study, the Major League Baseball club under investigation updated their talent identification techniques and divided the four talent identification categories into teachable and natural abilities categories.
  5. Previous study concentrated only on post-migration analysis, however it did look at athletes who were in the pre-migration phase at the time.
  6. Additional typologies such as altruists and lost boys were identified as novel motives for players wishing to move as a result of the findings, in addition to the three previously identified typologies.
  7. During the third study, the authors looked at the projected difficulties that Dominican players would have during their initial migration phase to the United States.
  8. It was divided into three main categories: 1) challenges in a new community; 2) obstacles in a new culture, but outside of sport; and 3) problems in sport situations.

The athletes and administrators both highlighted and stressed concerns that were comparable (e.g., cultural changes, language barrier); nevertheless, each group also identified and underlined issues that were distinct from one another (e.g., players focused on the language barrier and administrators focused on the cultural adjustment).

The implications of the talent identification research are centered on the difficulties associated with developing singular models of talent identification and how those difficulties are exacerbated when attempting to implement these models on different groups of people, according to the researchers.

Finally, the migration difficulties anticipated by both players and administrators were similar, and the findings could serve as a tool for team administrators seeking to adequately prepare Dominican players for migration to the United States as well as aid in the development of programs that can help players manage the new stressors of playing in the United States, according to the authors of the study.


Thesis for a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. The month of December 2013. Kinesiology is the major. Lisa A. Kihl serves as the advisor. 1 computer file (PDF);viii, 221 pages. 1 computer file (PDF).

Suggested Citation

Campisi, Charles John. “Campisi, Charles John” (2013). Baseball in the Dominican Republic: a case study of a Major League Baseball team’s development program. This image was obtained from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.

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