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Sunday, March 12, 2017

MLB’s International Prospect Showcase Is Shifting Power Back to Young Latino Peloteros

Allow me a brief anecdote: one of my old teammates (we’ll call him Raul) told me that his buscone took half of his signing bonus, and overcharged him for the steroids he said were necessary. Raul always wanted to move to New York City; consider his story similar to the plot of Sugar, where a Dominican pitching prospect quits on baseball after a few disorienting years in the minors to pursue his passion for carpentry. Only difference is that Raul wanted to sell drugs, “como Biggie”.  I always thought he was kidding when he said this on long bus rides, or after bad games, but during my rookie season with the Rays in September 2008, he showed up to (the old) Yankee Stadium between games of a double header, to congratulate me.  He had more bling and baggage under his eyes than I remember, and he mysteriously weaseled out of a photo before disappearing.


Through the joint efforts of the league, the MLBPA, and countless whistleblowers, power has now swung to aspiring players. In this year’s crop at the International Prospect Showcase, there are about a dozen soon-to-be millionaires, some so young they still have braces on their teeth.  The baseball community should be proud of the progress made in recent years, but the next frontier should be to prepare these players—especially those who will invariably be released by clubs after just a year or two—to compete for college scholarships. To their credit, some teams are already working on that: recently, Vice did a great expose on the Arizona Diamonbacks’ commitment to educating the prospects they invite to their Dominican academy.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 12, 2017 at 12:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando perez, latin america

 

 

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