By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
MAJOR League Baseball’s trainer partnership programme returned to The Dominican Republic to host its first major international prospect showcase in just over two years.
International Elite Academy products Bohan Adderley, JT Bain and Rashawn Pinder are among 200 prospects from several countries in the region, including The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Brazil and Jamaica.
The prospect list includes players selected by MLB scouts who are eligible to sign for the class of 2023 and others for the classes of 2024 and 2025.
Official MLB scouting events across countries prior to this week’s showcase were postponed because of COVID-19.
I-Elite co-founder Geron Sands is currently with the prospects at the showcase and said The Bahamas is capable of hosting the region to similar events and provide more opportunities for aspiring players.
“Events like these are things that I think we should be getting into. Obviously it comes with preparation and development and I think that’s something we can do as a whole. I think that we have so many gifted and talented athletes in The Bahamas and this is definitely more of what we should be doing,” he said.
“Obviously we have to get on par with what other kids in the world are doing. Baseball is such a great sport that we can all benefit from individually and as a country. It is possible for every young kid to dream to be a part of something like this and to make it to the major leagues.”
The showcase, which includes drills and gameplay, is hosted at the Philadelphia Phillies’ complex in Boca Chica and concludes today.
“We are very excited for this international showcase, which will feature players from different countries,” Morgan Sword, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations, said to MLB.com. “These events are an important part of the scouting process, but [they] also provide invaluable experience to players, who get to compete in front of crowds at professional facilities.”
In addition to the on-field tutelage, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez said the event also features “educational components that include an interactive panel with former Major League players and a separate panel with team scouting executives.”
Former players, including Luis Sojo (Venezuela), Bruce Chen (Panama), Carlos Baerga (Puerto Rico) and Anderson Hernandez (Dominican Republic), are also serving as coaches and mentors for the participants.
MLB’s Player Programmes group will offer additional educational programmes on topics such as performance-enhancing substances, health and safety.
“It’s so important to give these players not just opportunities on the field, but opportunities off the field,” said Omar Minaya, MLB’s consultant on amateur scouting. “Of course we hope that every player goes on to a healthy and successful Major League career, but we also want to make sure everyone is prepared for the challenges that baseball and life will throw at them. And it’s especially meaningful to these players to hear some of these lessons directly from guys who have been successful at the Major League level and understand the pathway to getting there.”
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Sign in to comment
Or login with: