DRSEA Seeking Prospects For Summer Baseball Program
TRYOUTS JANUARY 16 AT SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY (LA)
Pilot project will bring underprivileged Americans to Dominican Republic for training and cultural experience
The Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy will be holding tryouts at Southern University on January 16, 2016 for its DRSEA SUMMER BASEBALL EXPERIENCE, a one-month pilot project in the Dominican Republic in Summer 2016 involving baseball players from the United States who are currently sophomores or juniors in high school. Players will be hand-selected by a panel of experts, based on baseball skills and academic standing, and invited to participate in the project where they will receive baseball instruction from some of the top coaches in the Dominican Republic, including clinics conducted by Major League Baseball, as well as receive SAT and ACT preparation, and Spanish lessons.
While tryouts are open to all sophomores and juniors, in part the project is intended to bring more attention to the dearth of African Americans participating in baseball. African American participation in Major League baseball is dangerously near as low as it was when Jack Robinson broke the color line; as low as it has been since the 1950s. After peaking in the 1980s, the number of African Americans in Major League baseball has steadily declined. Currently, African Americans comprise just 8.3 percent of Major League Baseball team rosters.
The statistics are even worse at the college level where only 2 percent of the players are black. The fact that MLB is targeting college players over high school prospects further narrows the pool in reducing the number of blacks in the big leagues.
Conversely, the number of players of Latin descent continues to increase, currently making up 28 percent of MLB rosters. The Dominican Republic leads the way, trailing only the United States in producing MLB players, with 86 players on 2015 Opening Day rosters. Not only do all 30 Major League Baseball teams run academies in the Dominican Republic to train Dominican players, most import players to the Dominican Republic from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Panama and other Latin American countries. In essence, the Dominican Republic has become the world epicenter of baseball player development.
“The huge presence of Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic attests to the amount of talent in the country and the success of so many Dominican players, in large part due to the country’s solid baseball infrastructure,” said Samuel A. Brooks, chairman of Board of Trustees of the DRSEA. “From the infrastructure perspective, the Dominican Republic has a rich tradition of baseball players, excellent fields and instructors, and baseball is an integral part of the culture; it is national sport of the country.
“It is therefore reasonable to believe that if Dominicans and other Latin American players thrive in the Dominican baseball environment, other players will likewise benefit from a Dominican baseball experience.”
The tryout will be at the baseball facilities at Southern University (www.subr.edu), 801 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA at 10 a.m. January 16, 2016 and is open to current high school sophomores and juniors. Prospects should arrive for registration at 9:30 a.m.
Prospects will be tested on an array of skills including hitting and fielding, as well as position skills. Prospects must provide their own transportation to the tryout, and provide their own baseball shoes, glove and practice clothes. All tryouts will receive a professional evaluation; participation in the tryout is not a guarantee of selection for or participation in the DRSEA SUMMER BASEBALL PROGRAM. Once selected, participation in the program is free of charge. There is a $25 registration fee to participate in the tryout.
Those interested in participating in the tryout or finding out more can contact Tim Halloran at firstname.lastname@example.orgRegister for The DRSEA Summer Baseball Program!