Dominican Prospects Protest Reform

Last Wednesday, over 800 prospects, coaches, and scouts gathered outside of the hotel of recently appointed MLB Dominican baseball czar Sandy Alderson in the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo. Alderson joked to local reporters that he should have brought lunch for the crowd, but those in attendance, stationed behind a police barricade, simply wanted to make sure Alderson heard their three-word chant: "No al draft." No to the draft.

The crowd's concern could seem premature, as Alderson has gone on the record recently in the Spanish-speaking press saying he is not seeking to implement a draft on the island. His immediate goals, he told ESPN's Jorge Arangure, Jr., are more simple: combating age fraud and steroid use, guarding against scouts "skimming" players' signing bonuses, and implementing a scouting bureau to curb the abuses of the ill-reputed independent scouts known as "buscones." However, Bud Selig has been clear in his desire for an international draft, and Alderson noted to Arangure, "If baseball decides to start a draft, there are ways of making it work."

Over the ensuing days, the protest has received coverage only in international baseball press, but the Dominican press has been rife with increasingly panicked interviews and editorials that make the draft sound all but inevitable, and its consequences catastrophic for MLB's second-largest talent pool. Alderson, critics say, is "arrogant and categorical" in meetings, making decisions unilaterally and refusing to meet with the scouts who are at the center of the Dominican system. The changes he advocates would spell the "total collapse" of the country as a baseball market, said Enrique Soto, president of the Association of Independent Scouts, to Diario Libre's Nathanael Perez Nero.

So what is everyone so afraid of? In two words: Puerto Rico. The US commonwealth was brought under the umbrella of the draft in 1990, and has since fallen far behind the Dominican Republic as a baseball producer. Last year, noted Arangure, 28 Puerto Ricans were on Major League rosters, as compared to 81 Dominicans. This disparity isn't lost on officials in Puerto Rico, who have petitioned to be excluded from the draft as recently as 2007, at which time Secretary of Sports and Recreation David Bernier noted that "after the introduction of the draft, Puerto Rico is neither part of the continent nor part of the world."

Puerto Rico's decline looms prominently in Dominican news stories about Alderson's proposals, along with claims that the draft was the singular force which "killed" the sport. Hall of Famer and Puerto Rican native Orlando Cepeda echoed the concerns in a recent interview with ESPN, noting that "kids in Puerto Rico don't play baseball anymore," primarily because "there are hardly any more Puerto Rican players kids can look up to." In contrast, he called baseball "a sport for the hungry" in the Dominican Republic, an idea which featured prominently in fears expressed at the protest.

"(Alderson's) plan threatens to create more criminals. When you reduce the number of options for young men to sign in a country with few opportunities, they will choose to do bad," said Soto. "They want us to put our players to compete (in a draft) at age 16 against Cubans, Koreans, Australians and Americans who are 20 and 24 years old. We're talking about men versus boys and less money for our players." In 2009, according to Diario Libre's Nero, that money amounted to $39.4MM from teams to sign 421 Dominican prospects, another $15MM invested in 29 team academies on the island, and, of course, the $353MM earned by the 85 Dominican players on Major League rosters.

By week's end, tempers seemed to have calmed, as Dominican baseball commissioner Porfirio Veras Mercedes announced that "Alderson has given us assurance that if the buscones, scouts, and coaches ensure that players comply with current regulations, there will be no draft." Alderson reinforced this notion in Spanish to the AP, portraying the draft as something between a last resort and a punishment.

However, a fiery editorial in Sunday's edition of Listin Diario, the country's oldest newspaper, revived the debate by tying the reform effort to the erstwhile conversation about racism in baseball—but from the other side. Baseball columnist Mario Emilio Guerrero writes that Alderson's plans reflect widespread fear in the states that there are "too many Latinos" in baseball, noting in particular that over half of minor league players are from Spanish-speaking countries. Citing both Torii Hunter's "impostors" comment and Gary Sheffield's line about Latin players being easier to control than African American players, Guerrero writes that MLB's plans for the Dominican Republic would "delight those who see the Latin player as an intruder, dominating a scenario where he does not belong."

Guerrero concludes his lengthy diatribe by expressing a desire popular at the protest—that Dominican national authorities should take notice and perhaps even intervene on behalf of their prominent industry:

What will they do with the academies and the enormous investments that numerous Major League franchises have made in the country? Because with a draft, training centers would have no reason to be. You're not going to form a player just so someone else can select and recruit him. And most importantly, will the government and national sports leaders allow this stab at the heart of Dominican baseball without putting up any type of opposition? You have to keep your eyes open, because at any moment the wolf could bring out its fangs.

While a few scouts now seem to be willing to take Alderson at his word and embrace reform, it appears changes in the pipeline that currently accounts for a quarter of Major League players won't happen without a fight.


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57 Responses to Dominican Prospects Protest Reform Leave a Reply

  1. jaydestro 5 years ago

    reforming the international process would ultimately end a process of indentured servitude that appears to happen in the world of “street agents” in places like the dominican republic. while many buscons i am sure have some positive impact on a young prospect’s development, the idea that they own about 40% of the player’s earnings is a tad ridiculous. the international free agent process at the present time also allows fraud in player age to run rampart on the system making situations as recent as miguel angel sano’s signing to go on for almost months to verify his age. you see damian arredondo’s deal fall apart because of fraud and the waste of time and resources to scout him because of this problem.

    the positive side to the existing system is the chance for teams to use scouting ability to show what they can do. obviously guys like ubaldo jimenez who are top flight talents can become available to teams with lower revenue streams like the the rockies. development and good scouting are fostered in this program. sometimes luck of the draw in selecting a young international free agent can pay off huge dividends considering total cost to sign some players pales in comparison to the “Slot” cost of drafted players.

    there are pluses and minuses to change this system, it’s going do be difficult because of the amount of money presently tied up into talent development at a very young age in places like the dominican republic. how they move forward will be interesting.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      Who cares if they cede 40% of their bonuses? Their bonuses are five times as big as they would be if they were American born.

  2. jdub220 5 years ago

    My biggest problem is that it’s unfair to the players that enter the draft because they’re restricted to one team, while international prospects have free bidding over them.

    • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

      Exactly. They’re upset that their time of creating bidding wars are over. They’ll now have to enter the draft like everyone else and be subject to the slotting system. If I were an American player, I would be upset that for years that foreign born players have the advantage in the signing process. Look at Chapman getting 30mm to come play in the minors, then when he hits the show, he goes through arbitration. Strasburg got a record $15.1mm and is more of known quantity. We know his real age, background, etc.

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        for every Chapman u have 100 Jennry Mejia’s who sign for 16,000 dollars…u couldnt even sign ME for 16,000 dollars…

        • Just_MLB 5 years ago

          what would be funny is if high school players started moving to DR to avoid the draft..ala Brandon Jennings in the NBA

        • Just_MLB 5 years ago

          what would be funny is if high school players started moving to DR to avoid the draft..ala Brandon Jennings in the NBA

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          I was juxtaposing the disparity in bonuses between a foreign born stud pitcher and an American born drafted pitcher signed by two similar sized franchises in the same year. Strasburg got 1/2 what Chapman got, and there wasn’t much he could do about it besides hold out, get nothing and reenter the draft. And that’s why I think an international draft is the most fair. If the real fair market value for pitchers of their caliber is $30mm, then everyone with a comparable skill set should be similarly compensated. If the FMV is $15mm, then foreign players have had the edge. I don’t begrudge Chaps for taking advantage of his circumstance at all, I would do the same.
          I would also sign for $16,000.

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          I was juxtaposing the disparity in bonuses between a foreign born stud pitcher and an American born drafted pitcher signed by two similar sized franchises in the same year. Strasburg got 1/2 what Chapman got, and there wasn’t much he could do about it besides hold out, get nothing and reenter the draft. And that’s why I think an international draft is the most fair. If the real fair market value for pitchers of their caliber is $30mm, then everyone with a comparable skill set should be similarly compensated. If the FMV is $15mm, then foreign players have had the edge. I don’t begrudge Chaps for taking advantage of his circumstance at all, I would do the same.
          I would also sign for $16,000.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            the difference is that the high schooler has the option of going to college ( usually on a scholarship ) where they can build on their value and have a fallback in case they blow out their shoulder.

            the other option is for the US born player to relocate to another country so he can be signed as a Free Agent.

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            No. The difference is that one went through the draft, and the other was signed as a free agent. Your logic is flawed for two reasons: high school players go through the draft and baseball players aren’t necessarily looking for a fallback, as you put it, especially since many of them leave school early.

            A high school education will put you on the fast track to managing valets at a restaurant, but it won’t provide you with much more.

            Think about it. Foreign born players are free agents five to six years before American born players are. They get free agent money and the opportunity to decide where they play.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            baseball players who are drafted at high school level have options. They can
            accept the contract or they can go to a college.
            No one is debating what a high school education will bring, it is also not
            debatable what the option for having a college education has either, this is
            a TREMENDOUS advantage. I would even argue that to be drafted in ANY sport,
            you should have at least 2 years of college. I think this would have a
            positive effect here in America as well as in Latin America.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            baseball players who are drafted at high school level have options. They can
            accept the contract or they can go to a college.
            No one is debating what a high school education will bring, it is also not
            debatable what the option for having a college education has either, this is
            a TREMENDOUS advantage. I would even argue that to be drafted in ANY sport,
            you should have at least 2 years of college. I think this would have a
            positive effect here in America as well as in Latin America.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            essentially forcing all players to have at least a 2 year degree will
            improve the level of college play…will also encourage education in some of
            the poorer latin american countries. The focus should not only be on
            encouraging athletes to pursue school but also setting an example for all
            the kids looking up to them. Finding a way to funnel money from specific mlb
            acadamies into college scholarships would be encouraged

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            Is it your goal to make absurd, poorly thought out statements? If we’re talking about options, of course they have options. We all have options in life, to play baseball, waste our time debating with faceless idiots, etc. But the high school drafted player has the same option as the college drafted player, to sign or not to sign.

            A baseball roster is not made up of 40 members of MENSA. It is made up of the 40 best players in that organization. The proposal you make is similar to the one in the NFL and NBA. However, those leagues don’t have minor league systems like baseball, and don’t try to argue that D-League garbage. If it is a man’s chosen career path, a bunk A.A. degree will get him no closer to the show. Not even close. And since when was it baseball’s job to educate the masses? If your ridiculous idea is instituted those ‘poor Latin’ player’s two year degrees will be as real as their birth certificates.

            This highly educated Utopia you propose, where players are discussing Newton at first base cannot exist. We must accept things for what they are. Not everyone is meant to hold a bachelor’s degree or hit a baseball 400 feet.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            Is it your goal to make obnoxious and condescending statements when someone
            disagrees with you ?

            “This highly educated Utopia your propose, where players are discussing
            Newton at first base cannot exist.”
            Absolutely Not ! lol

            ” We must accept things for what they are. Not everyone is meant to hold a
            bachelor’s degree or hit a baseball 400 feet.”

            the NFL and NBA can have higher age and educational standards…but somehow
            MLB absolutely can not enforce a higher age and god forbid educational
            limit…lord…..smh
            and no, it’s not MLB’s job to educate the masses but they sure are doing it
            in Santo Domingo…they have academies where they teach kids from age 13 and
            up how to read and write in English, Math, and social skills…damn near
            every team has an academy now in Latin America now.

            and you completely ignored the option i proposed american born players can
            currently use within the structure to circumvent the rules and be considered
            free-agents…

            What if Bryce Harper…at age 16…( who graduated with a GED and went to Jr
            College ) moved to another country for a year…would he be eligible to be a
            free agent and have all 30 teams bid on him?

            and before you start your cries of ” Thats such an awful stupid idiotic (
            and whatever beautiful adjectives you can come up with ) idea…I think that
            there needs to be changes done so that everyone can benefit in the long run.
            simply instituting an international draft only benefits the american born
            player. But its not like being self-centered was a bad thing lol

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            The NFL and NBA do not have higher educational standards, they have an age limit. Enormous difference. Besides, I addressed that point in the previous post where I said that those leagues lack a minor league system similar to the one baseball has in place. The NFL and NBA you cite liberally as bastions of education and altruism both have systems where international players enter through a common draft. By the way, arguing that something is good because someone else does it is invalid.

            In terms of Harper, I could care less what he does. If he feels like he wants to be a 17 year old boy in the DR to get an extra year or two in the bigs, go for it. I’m all for taking advantage of loopholes. But if that happens, expect to see a common draft with international players as soon as he signs his lease in San Pedro de Macoris.

            I would also argue that the ‘academies’ they have in foreign countries are more baseball than Voltaire. Which is perfectly fine, but I’m fairly certain they don’t claim to be any sort of post secondary education. So those players are getting the equivalent to a high school education. But just because clubs do it now, doesn’t mean they’re obligated to continue to do so.

            Simply instituting a draft does not benefit the American player, it levels the amateur playing field. It gives Americans foreign born players the same leverage in moving from amateur ball to pro ball.

            You also never addressed the issue of falsifying educational transcripts that I rose. So now, in order to make sure these players are in school for two years, must MLB institute entrance exams? As I said earlier, the NFL and NBA have age limits, not educational prerequisites.

            “Is it your goal to make obnoxious and condescending statements when someone
            disagrees with you ?”

            Way to answer a question with a question. I am condescending with you because you fail to make relevant points. You just rephrase the junk you’ve already said.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            …while yes, they both have systems in which you can enter through a common
            draft, there are also ways to circumvent that draft very easily. What part
            of this equation are you having difficulty understanding?

            If native born American baseball players wanted to level the playing
            field…what is preventing them from moving to another country now?

            and dont give me that nonsense about u being condescending because i keep
            repeating the same points.

            I could have easily been as condescending and obnoxious when you made this
            great statement.

            “Think about it. Foreign born players are free agents five to six years
            before American born players are. They get free agent money and the
            opportunity to decide where they play.”

            Really ?!!?

            Look at Jose Reyes and David Wright…
            Jose Reyes signed his contract on August 16, 1999 at age 16 and made his
            debut at age 20
            David Wright was drafted and signed his contract at age 18 and made his
            debut at age 21

            David would have been a free agent in his age 28 year had he not opted to
            sign that contract…( which bought out 3 free agency years )

            Reyes made his debut at age 20…and would be eligible to be a free agent at
            age 26 ( the mets bought out 2 free agency years ) ….thats a 2 year
            difference…not 5 to 6…but nice try !

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            This is the last I’m going to say about this, and then let it ride.

            I am not having any difficulty understanding your pedestrian points. It is not easy to move to another country. But the overriding point is this: why should an American player have the burden of moving to another country to have the same financial opportunity as someone else? Would the inverse be fair? You concede that the other leagues have a common draft, so your point about educational standards in comparable leagues fails. You simply want players to circumvent the rules instead of having the rules change. If you want them to dodge the rules, then why have them? Why not go to a draft? You’re arguing just to argue.

            It sounds to me like you made a weak attempt at condescension when you cited on isolated example. I think we can agree that Wright is a better player than Reyes and was when he was a rookie. But Reyes was a pro when he was 16 and made his debut one year younger. Even in your example, Reyes reached FA two years earlier, as a younger player with presumably more career longevity.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            again….adjectives…”pedestrian” points…ummm…how are your points any
            more or less “pedestrian” than mine….something about your tone just reeks
            of “my sh*t doesn’t stink”….u even admit to being condescending …smh

            and my example is FAR from isolated. my point is you become a free agent
            after 6 years of service time. If an american is drafted at 18 and promoted
            at 21…he becomes a free agent at age 27…its not rocket science….
            most latin american players are promoted at/around age 20/21…
            most native born players are promoted at/around age 22/23
            thats a 1-3 difference…not 5-6…

            cole hamels….promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            joe mauer…promoted at age 20 ( first free-agent year 26 )
            tim lincecum…promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            matt cain.,..promoted at age 20 ( first free-agent year 26 )
            dustin pedroia…promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            prince fielder……promoted at age 21 ( first free-agent year 27 )

            you get a 5-6 year difference when you have a player promoted at age
            20/21…and another promoted at age 25/26….now if the young player wants
            the security now…he allows his team to purchase a few of his first
            free-agent years…

            Why do i feel like im arguing with a drunk girl at the bar about the rules
            of the game?….If you are done embarrassing yourself , I’d like to wish you
            a good day

            :-)

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            again….adjectives…”pedestrian” points…ummm…how are your points any
            more or less “pedestrian” than mine….something about your tone just reeks
            of “my sh*t doesn’t stink”….u even admit to being condescending …smh

            and my example is FAR from isolated. my point is you become a free agent
            after 6 years of service time. If an american is drafted at 18 and promoted
            at 21…he becomes a free agent at age 27…its not rocket science….
            most latin american players are promoted at/around age 20/21…
            most native born players are promoted at/around age 22/23
            thats a 1-3 difference…not 5-6…

            cole hamels….promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            joe mauer…promoted at age 20 ( first free-agent year 26 )
            tim lincecum…promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            matt cain.,..promoted at age 20 ( first free-agent year 26 )
            dustin pedroia…promoted at age 22 ( first free-agent year 28 )
            prince fielder……promoted at age 21 ( first free-agent year 27 )

            you get a 5-6 year difference when you have a player promoted at age
            20/21…and another promoted at age 25/26….now if the young player wants
            the security now…he allows his team to purchase a few of his first
            free-agent years…

            Why do i feel like im arguing with a drunk girl at the bar about the rules
            of the game?….If you are done embarrassing yourself , I’d like to wish you
            a good day

            :-)

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            This is the last I’m going to say about this, and then let it ride.

            I am not having any difficulty understanding your pedestrian points. It is not easy to move to another country. But the overriding point is this: why should an American player have the burden of moving to another country to have the same financial opportunity as someone else? Would the inverse be fair? You concede that the other leagues have a common draft, so your point about educational standards in comparable leagues fails. You simply want players to circumvent the rules instead of having the rules change. If you want them to dodge the rules, then why have them? Why not go to a draft? You’re arguing just to argue.

            It sounds to me like you made a weak attempt at condescension when you cited on isolated example. I think we can agree that Wright is a better player than Reyes and was when he was a rookie. But Reyes was a pro when he was 16 and made his debut one year younger. Even in your example, Reyes reached FA two years earlier, as a younger player with presumably more career longevity.

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            Is it your goal to make absurd, poorly thought out statements? If we’re talking about options, of course they have options. We all have options in life, to play baseball, waste our time debating with faceless idiots, etc. But the high school drafted player has the same option as the college drafted player, to sign or not to sign.

            A baseball roster is not made up of 40 members of MENSA. It is made up of the 40 best players in that organization. The proposal you make is similar to the one in the NFL and NBA. However, those leagues don’t have minor league systems like baseball, and don’t try to argue that D-League garbage. If it is a man’s chosen career path, a bunk A.A. degree will get him no closer to the show. Not even close. And since when was it baseball’s job to educate the masses? If your ridiculous idea is instituted those ‘poor Latin’ player’s two year degrees will be as real as their birth certificates.

            This highly educated Utopia you propose, where players are discussing Newton at first base cannot exist. We must accept things for what they are. Not everyone is meant to hold a bachelor’s degree or hit a baseball 400 feet.

          • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

            No. The difference is that one went through the draft, and the other was signed as a free agent. Your logic is flawed for two reasons: high school players go through the draft and baseball players aren’t necessarily looking for a fallback, as you put it, especially since many of them leave school early.

            A high school education will put you on the fast track to managing valets at a restaurant, but it won’t provide you with much more.

            Think about it. Foreign born players are free agents five to six years before American born players are. They get free agent money and the opportunity to decide where they play.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            the difference is that the high schooler has the option of going to college ( usually on a scholarship ) where they can build on their value and have a fallback in case they blow out their shoulder.

            the other option is for the US born player to relocate to another country so he can be signed as a Free Agent.

  3. aap212 5 years ago

    Makes you wonder why thousands of American amateurs don’t show up outside Selig’s office to chant the same. Boras could organize it.

  4. BIGPELF 5 years ago

    i dont know what to say here.
    Im latino and Puerto Rico its a little island that cant produce 100 players plus they have boxing champs,nba players,mlb players,karate and all that stuff so i really think they should allowed puertorican players to sign without being draft.

    • PRKnight 5 years ago

      I totally agree. Im puerto rican too and its become so disappointing to see the number of our people playing dropping so low. During the time of bernie williams, carlos delgado, and jorge posada who lead their teams and also were ambassadors to puerto rico. They would encorage young players to continue to work hard and educate them on how to play the game. But now all we have names like Beltran who is big but doesnt really try as hard as the ones before to educate and motivate the kids from the island. I think all latin countries, and other non american countries should be free of this draft because of the lack of facilities and money needed to be highlighted like an american player. I could make a better argument but it just takes to long to make. So ya im against this draft proposal and free Puerto Rico.

      • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

        The Molinas are from PR. Your ethnic background shouldn’t give you an advantage. Just because these are small island nations, the players who come from there shouldn’t be pitied. They are athletes just like the guys from Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Curacao, etc.

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        i am puerto rican but i think its not fair to have a different set of rules…it should be regulated…

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          Then why are you arguing with me above?

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            because I can accept that not everyone knows everything. So just because you
            can get certain facts wrong, doesnt mean I have to talk to you like you are
            an imbecile. Now when you come out arrogant and sound like an imbecile (
            look at all the beautiful adjectives you used ) …this is when I get
            offended.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            because I can accept that not everyone knows everything. So just because you
            can get certain facts wrong, doesnt mean I have to talk to you like you are
            an imbecile. Now when you come out arrogant and sound like an imbecile (
            look at all the beautiful adjectives you used ) …this is when I get
            offended.

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          Then why are you arguing with me above?

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        i am puerto rican but i think its not fair to have a different set of rules…it should be regulated…

  5. flex0us 5 years ago

    Justin, those players in DR dont go to high school. They are taken out of their homes and schools at age 13 or 14 to go practice in independently own academies by the buscones. Another problem besides the buscones is the low education given by the Dominican Government and the lack of opportunities for young people. What worries me the most is that the buscones are protesting again the draft no for the future of dominican baseball, but for the future of their pockets. They are claiming that these boys wont have an opportunity with a draft. Let me tell you something, with the quality of life here in DR, any amount of money will be good for those boys, in fact if you are good you are going to get drafted anyways. The problem is the buscones want more money and want to continue the abuses committed against those boys.

  6. formerdraftpick 5 years ago

    It’s a shame that they are saying “No al draft.” I guess they haven’t experienced a good draft. As for myself, I prefer draft over bottle, particularly with microbrews like a Magic Hat #9. Oui al draft.

  7. joemamuh 5 years ago

    As an American-born white boy, I really don’t care what country the MLB talent comes from. But I’m sick and tired of age fraud in developing nations that pump out ballplayers. If a MLB team signs a 16-year-old who is really 19 (*cough*Miguel Tejada*cough*), that is not only fraudulent, but makes MLB look like a bunch of chumps who can be easily duped by, okay I’ll say it, Latin government officials who are on board with doctoring a players’ date of birth so that players can bring home millions upon millions of dollars back home to his country’s local economy.

    • BIGPELF 5 years ago

      you can resolve that with a deepest investigation on the players birth

  8. AnnvilleHammer 5 years ago

    It just doesn’t make sense to me that American born players have to wait until they’re 18 and then are limited to how much money they can make while being much more proven before coming into MLB, while Latin players are allowed to have a bidding war over their services.

    Personally I couldn’t care less about how many of what race is playing in baseball. If Latin players would rather turn to crime over earning their way, then I think the Latin countries have bigger problems than the draft.

  9. ratmoss 5 years ago

    The NHL has a worldwide draft. It doesn’t appear to be deterring young hockey players in Sweden, Russia, Slovakia, etc. from taking up the game.

  10. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Unfortunately, as with most things, people are looking at things from a US perspective only.

    a) An expansion of the draft that includes the Dominicans and other countries but is exclusive of the Japaneese players is flat out wrong. THERE WILL BE NO INTERNATIONAL DRAFT THAT SUBJUGATES JAPANEESE STARS TO NORMAL DRAFT COMPENSATION. Therefore no draft for the Japaneese and that is unfair to others.

    b) To most American players baseball is fufilment of a childhood dream. To a Dominican who’s country is suffering thru third world standards baseball is a matter of survival. Are we really going to compare the hardships of a HS or College educated American baseball player to that of a 14 year old who’s family might be living in mud huts w/ no one having completed an education above 6th grade? Yes, American players have less leverage in terms of who they sign with but let’s not compare the paths they walk to get to the point where they become draft eligible. People want to focus on the 5-8 top talents that MIGHT become household names to a ravid baseball fan like us but fail to understand how a $50k signing bonus to a 16 yo kid can literally change the lives of an entire Dominican family. Will that bonus be there if the country is subjected to a draft?

    Probably not, and here’s why…

    What incentive does ANY mlb team have to invest money in baseball academies is they are not allowed to sign and develop those 14-16 year old prospects and be EXCLUSIVE with them? Why would any team invest money into educating and developing these kids if ANOTHER team could then cherry pick thru their rosters in the draft? ZERO. Therefore, an international draf that includes the Domicans will be the end to baseball acadamies.

    From a US team perspective, why would a GM want to waste a draft pick on a kid at age 14-16 when a) they’re entire scouting is being based on pure physical projections (i.e He throws 80-85 mph now at age 16 @ 140 lb but as he matures and fills out he might become a flamethrower). Answer…they won’t. They will either pass on the kid completely or he won’t be drafted anywhere near the top 20 rounds at all. b) In a country riddled in economic distress can a 16 year old who might well be the “man” of the house afford to worry about baseball when he might have a mother or younger siblings to take care of, and even if he did have time to play baseball, where would he play if teams no longer run baseball acadamies?

    I have other issues w/ this but I gotta go.

    • AnnvilleHammer 5 years ago

      The difference in most Japanese players who come over is the fact more often than not they’re also much older than your average prospect and have played in a recognized major league environment.

      To me it has nothing to do with comparing the hardships of 14-15 year old Latin children to those of 17-18 year old American kids. I understand they have terrible situations, but to me it’s not up to MLB teams to compensate for the hardships of unstable countries. At what point did it become MLB’s responsibility to handle the economic situations of Latin countries?

      Maybe we should make an exception for American kids too. If they live in a poor area of the country and getting whatever they can as soon as possible will help their family, how about we let them skip the draft and take whatever they can too? I know a lot of families where I live who could use that 50k to turn around their circumstances in a big way.

      Are you saying MLB wouldn’t have academies much like what Major League teams have now? Are you saying that Major League teams would just decide to not scout overseas at all? I just find it hard to believe that in the 50 or so rounds of the MLB draft that they wouldn’t take a chance on any Latin players.

      This isn’t even taking into consideration the horrid amount of corruption that Latin American baseball is crawling with.

      • bj82 5 years ago

        Yes, they would scout, but they wouldn’t invest in training these kids. Why would they? so that another team picks him in the draft.

        You see American players already have an advantage. They can afford to play ball and go to school. They can afford to pay for a coaching, they can afford to buy supplements, they eat better food. They play in better fields, wayyy better.

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          Have you ever had Latin food? It’s delicious.

        • Will_Clarks_Gauchos 5 years ago

          Have you ever had Latin food? It’s delicious.

    • AnnvilleHammer 5 years ago

      The difference in most Japanese players who come over is the fact more often than not they’re also much older than your average prospect and have played in a recognized major league environment.

      To me it has nothing to do with comparing the hardships of 14-15 year old Latin children to those of 17-18 year old American kids. I understand they have terrible situations, but to me it’s not up to MLB teams to compensate for the hardships of unstable countries. At what point did it become MLB’s responsibility to handle the economic situations of Latin countries?

      Maybe we should make an exception for American kids too. If they live in a poor area of the country and getting whatever they can as soon as possible will help their family, how about we let them skip the draft and take whatever they can too? I know a lot of families where I live who could use that 50k to turn around their circumstances in a big way.

      Are you saying MLB wouldn’t have academies much like what Major League teams have now? Are you saying that Major League teams would just decide to not scout overseas at all? I just find it hard to believe that in the 50 or so rounds of the MLB draft that they wouldn’t take a chance on any Latin players.

      This isn’t even taking into consideration the horrid amount of corruption that Latin American baseball is crawling with.

    • bj82 5 years ago

      Agree with you 110%. Latin American baseball players come from really poor backgrounds. They are so poor, you can’t even compare it with what is compared porr here. When a kid is drafted here he has choices depending if he came from high school or college. Does he goes to college or go signs with a team. Those choices are not there for latin players.

      If an American player doesn’t make it, he still has a college degree or can go back to college, on the other hand, latin players ge sent back without being able to return.

  11. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Unfortunately, as with most things, people are looking at things from a US perspective only.

    a) An expansion of the draft that includes the Dominicans and other countries but is exclusive of the Japaneese players is flat out wrong. THERE WILL BE NO INTERNATIONAL DRAFT THAT SUBJUGATES JAPANEESE STARS TO NORMAL DRAFT COMPENSATION. Therefore no draft for the Japaneese and that is unfair to others.

    b) To most American players baseball is fufilment of a childhood dream. To a Dominican who’s country is suffering thru third world standards baseball is a matter of survival. Are we really going to compare the hardships of a HS or College educated American baseball player to that of a 14 year old who’s family might be living in mud huts w/ no one having completed an education above 6th grade? Yes, American players have less leverage in terms of who they sign with but let’s not compare the paths they walk to get to the point where they become draft eligible. People want to focus on the 5-8 top talents that MIGHT become household names to a ravid baseball fan like us but fail to understand how a $50k signing bonus to a 16 yo kid can literally change the lives of an entire Dominican family. Will that bonus be there if the country is subjected to a draft?

    Probably not, and here’s why…

    What incentive does ANY mlb team have to invest money in baseball academies is they are not allowed to sign and develop those 14-16 year old prospects and be EXCLUSIVE with them? Why would any team invest money into educating and developing these kids if ANOTHER team could then cherry pick thru their rosters in the draft? ZERO. Therefore, an international draf that includes the Domicans will be the end to baseball acadamies.

    From a US team perspective, why would a GM want to waste a draft pick on a kid at age 14-16 when a) they’re entire scouting is being based on pure physical projections (i.e He throws 80-85 mph now at age 16 @ 140 lb but as he matures and fills out he might become a flamethrower). Answer…they won’t. They will either pass on the kid completely or he won’t be drafted anywhere near the top 20 rounds at all. b) In a country riddled in economic distress can a 16 year old who might well be the “man” of the house afford to worry about baseball when he might have a mother or younger siblings to take care of, and even if he did have time to play baseball, where would he play if teams no longer run baseball acadamies?

    I have other issues w/ this but I gotta go.

  12. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I readily admit that I don’t know much about the legalities of Latin American baseball development so I apologize in advance for anything that I am stating that is incorrect.

    1. I was working under the assumption that teams could only sign international players when they were 16 or older. Instead of raise that limit, why not lower the US age limit. You still have to work out the kids education, but it’s easy to picture a system where the kid gets a one or two year deferral before joining the club in low level A ball after graduation. There are issues with how a coach uses a player while still in HS but those are issues that can be worked out. The kids could be required to attend summer camps until graduation as well that are run by the clubs.

    2. Require everyone to get drafted until they reach a certain age. This is true for Japanese talent. If a player wants to come over to MLB they must apply for and get drafted by a team. The drafting team can work out a posting fee with the Japanese club. So, if the Rays had decided to select Dice-K with their draft pick, they wouldn’t get in a bidding war with the Yankees or Red Sox. If the Japanese team didn’t like what the Rays offered as a posting fee, the player would be retracted. Rays lose their draft pick and the Japanese team has to hold onto the player for another year before given a shot at posting. This would allow for more than just the Red Sox or Yankees to land Yu Durvish when he is posted.

    An international draft is the only fair way to handle this issue. You expand the draft a bunch of rounds. Teams could go all young focusing on a bunch of 16 YO’s or they could a more traditional route that is followed in most drafts today. In either event, the system would be far more equitable than the current solution which basically creates a free agent environment for amateur talent.

  13. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I readily admit that I don’t know much about the legalities of Latin American baseball development so I apologize in advance for anything that I am stating that is incorrect.

    1. I was working under the assumption that teams could only sign international players when they were 16 or older. Instead of raise that limit, why not lower the US age limit. You still have to work out the kids education, but it’s easy to picture a system where the kid gets a one or two year deferral before joining the club in low level A ball after graduation. There are issues with how a coach uses a player while still in HS but those are issues that can be worked out. The kids could be required to attend summer camps until graduation as well that are run by the clubs.

    2. Require everyone to get drafted until they reach a certain age. This is true for Japanese talent. If a player wants to come over to MLB they must apply for and get drafted by a team. The drafting team can work out a posting fee with the Japanese club. So, if the Rays had decided to select Dice-K with their draft pick, they wouldn’t get in a bidding war with the Yankees or Red Sox. If the Japanese team didn’t like what the Rays offered as a posting fee, the player would be retracted. Rays lose their draft pick and the Japanese team has to hold onto the player for another year before given a shot at posting. This would allow for more than just the Red Sox or Yankees to land Yu Durvish when he is posted.

    An international draft is the only fair way to handle this issue. You expand the draft a bunch of rounds. Teams could go all young focusing on a bunch of 16 YO’s or they could a more traditional route that is followed in most drafts today. In either event, the system would be far more equitable than the current solution which basically creates a free agent environment for amateur talent.

  14. A draft seems like a no-brainer to me. I think all players should be acquired through the same draft. An international draft keeps North American players and latin players on two different segregated tracks. Its simply a way of leveling the field for all players. I think all the baseball academies run by the various teams in latin america should be simply bought out and run by the central MLB office, and scouts from the individual teams would be welcome to come and go as much as they pleased. (Not unlike the way teams currently scout American high school and college players.)

  15. BIGPELF 5 years ago

    the mlb have baseball camps in the dominican republic

  16. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Torii wasn’t an international player. He’s born and raised Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

  17. Are you joking? The Dominican Republic does not have high school sports! Do you realize it is a 3rd world country? If they didn’t have the training centers, they wouldn’t have anywhere to develop their talents- it’s not like mom and dad can pay for baseball coaching. It would just become a sport for the rich kids then…and the reason they are so good now is because it’s their way out of a shit-hole. The “rich kids” wouldn’t have so much incentive…

  18. bj82 5 years ago

    You said it all, rich kids don’t play baseball, poor kids do. And a lot of times, they don’t even go to school.

  19. bj82 5 years ago

    You said it all, rich kids don’t play baseball, poor kids do. And a lot of times, they don’t even go to school.

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