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Major League Baseball cultivates young talent in Puerto Rico

Major League Baseball cultivates young talent in Puerto Rico

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 04, 2015

Major League Baseball announced Monday that on Sept. 8, tryouts will begin in Puerto Rico to choose talented ballplayers between ages 14-18 for a program designed to further develop baseball on the island during the 2015-16 school year.

MLB's international director of player development, Joel Araujo, said in a press release that the program is part of the organization's continuing commitment to developing baseball in Puerto Rico.

"There are some players that cannot afford the academies, or have the opportunity, and we want to help that group with their development by getting them quality instruction in the hopes that they will grow" and make their dreams come true, Araujo said.

The after-school program will take place three days a week around the island's four regions.

Araujo also talked about the talent he has observed year after year among young Puerto Rican baseball players and recalled that 36 of them were selected this year in the recently concluded MLB rookie draft, the highest number in the last five years.

The presence of Puerto Rican players in the Major Leagues has declined over the past 10 years.

In response, several baseball academies have been opened on the island, including the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School, and the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.

It was thanks to the opening of the PRBAHS that three years ago shortstop Carlos Correa became the first ballplayer from the island to be the first pick in the MLB rookie draft.

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