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Latin America Newsbeat

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Major League Baseball retaliates with surprise drug tests for protesting Dominican prospects

Last week, in protest of Major League Baseball’s plan to implement an international amateur draft, Dominican prospects and their trainers boycotted an annual MLB showcase event. This forced Major League Baseball to cancel the workout, after briefly considering bringing in replacement players (because idiots will never learn).

This week, just by coincidence, Baseball America’s Ben Badler (who is all over this story, and who you should follow) reports that Major League Baseball has called several of these players in for surprise drug tests. All prospects are drug tested before they sign any contracts, though that, according to Badler, those tests don’t usually happen until the year the player signs. Given that these prospects won’t be eligible to sign until next July, Badler says, this is an odd request, “Given the timing, the decision to test players could be retaliation for the protest, raising further questions about the way the commissioner’s office uses its power and treats Latin American amateur players.”


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MLB cancels its Dominican showcase after players protest an international draft

Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports that Major League Baseball has cancelled its Dominican national showcase, which was scheduled for today and tomorrow. Why? Because, Badler reports, trainers and players in the Dominican Republic planned to skip the showcase in protest over Major League Baseball’s push to implement an international draft.

The kicker: Major League Baseball explored bringing in lesser prospects to serve as replacement players for the showcase

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2016 at 10:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: international draft, latin america

 

 

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