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Education Initiative

Major League Baseball continues to build its educational initiative in a country where thousands of adolescents and youth have the dream of becoming Major League players.

While many prospects know someone who has signed a professional contract, the vast majority knows that the journey upward through the system is steep.

Sandy Alderson introduced the concept of an educational initiative for baseball in the Dominican Republic in 2010. Since then, MLB has taken steps to make this education initiative a reality. The office has hired a full-time educational coordinator and commissioned a study to determine the educational programs and challenges at the different Club academies. A major challenge is to impress upon players the value of an education.

Most recently, team representatives of the local Club academies met with MLB staff from the Dominican Republic office to evaluate possible educational programs for amateur prospects, active players and released players. The workshop provided a platform to discuss some of the findings of the study and to see how the different educational programs can be implemented at the academies. These programs included instruction in English, general life skills, computer skills, acclimation to life in the United States, reading and writing.

The workshop helped to pinpoint several objectives aimed at improving educational standards for prospects. First, MLB-DR and Club representatives endeavored to be proactive in sparking prospects' interest to learn by using methods that actively engage the players, showing them how to learn and increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem. Secondly, attendees pledged to prepare released players for vocational training opportunities as they transition from baseball.

Finally, for the young unsigned prospects and their families, workshop attendees agreed that emphasizing the importance of staying in school is essential to the overall success of prospects.

Rafael Perez, Director of Dominican Operations for Major League Baseball said, "the Dominican office and the Clubs have banded together to evaluate and analyze possible educational programs for prospects, active players and released players in the Dominican Republic. Our goal is to work with the Clubs on a comprehensive program that complements their daily operations. Our main priority is to ensure that all Dominican players are not only prepared for life on-field, but also they are prepared for life after baseball."