Sep 19, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Baltimore Orioles during the 2nd inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Dominican Republic to Receive Mariners’ Baseball Academy

On November 7th, the Mariners announced that they were planning to build a baseball academy to appeal to prospective players in the Dominican Republic. The team spent $7 million dollars on a 24-acre complex that is located near Boca Chica, which is near the Southwestern border. The plan, the Mariners managers report, is that this complex will serve as an institution where prospective players will be able to live, attend school, and of course hone their baseball-playing skills.

The team had already shared a complex in the Dominican Republic with the L.A. Dodgers and they have a complex in Venezuela dedicated to building team skills. They see investing in these training complexes and baseball academies as investing in their future as a team. Only a handful of teams own such academies, and Seattle will be one of the few owning such a complex in the Dominican Republic.

The complex is scheduled to be built by the end of 2013. It will contain two fields with plans for a third, and an infield. In addition there will be bullpens, batting cages, dorms, dining facilities, and classrooms. It will be a very nice facility that accommodates potential players in Latin America and develops them so that they will be ready to play ball at the professional level.

The Mariners (and former Mariners) who have come out of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela include:

Since so many baseball players, including star pitcher King Felix have come from Latin America, it does seem prudent to invest in training complexes in the area. However, it also seems as though a small budget team may have better uses of $7 million. What do you think about this development? Is it worth the money to create a baseball academy to educate and train potential players from where the Mariners can draw? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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Tags: Baseball Boca Chica Caribbean Carlos Peguero Dominican Republic Latin America Mariners Venezuela

  • JCondreay

    First of all, welcome to Sodo Mojo, Ronda. We are all very excited to have you here.
    A few years ago, I got the opportunity to travel down to the DR with a group of ball players from along the west coast to play against some teams from the Dominican and Venezuela Some of the games that we played were at these academies, and after seeing the work they do, I am convinced that they are a good investment. There is a lot of fantastic yet raw talent that just needs some work before being sent to America, and the camps are the perfect way of cultivating these players’ tools. I am happy with the investment.

  • maqman

    With the new international free agent bonus restrictions created by the new CBA there are going to be fewer 16-year old’s getting multi-million dollar bonuses. The academy will allow the team to better evaluate prospects and prepare them to join the U.S. minor leagues and this new facility will be an added recruitment tool.