Mexico to Open Ten Baseball Academies

The new President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO as many refer to him, is a big baseball fan. He has put ex-major league baseball player Edgar Gonzalez in charge of opening ten baseball academies in Mexico. These academies would be located in 1) San Quintin, Baja California Norte, 2) Guasave and 3) Etchhojoa Sinaloa, 4) Delicias, Chihuahua, 5) Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, 6)Minatitlan, Vera Cruz, 7) Iztapalala, Mexico City, 8) Palenque, Chiapas, 9) Cardenas, Tabasco and 10) Ticul, Yucatan. Players will be available to major league and the local Mexican professional teams.

The academies will be competing with the local professional teams since they sign players prior to turning 16 and sell them to major league teams, often keeping up to 70 percent of the bonus money paid to players. The academies will help negotiate with the major league clubs and claim to only take 5 to 10 percent of the bonus payment to cover the costs of training the players. It is unclear what the market will be for the local professional teams.

Recognizing that not all players signed by major league teams reach the majors, the academies will teach academics to assist them when applying for a college in Mexico or the United States.

It is not known whether Mexico has budgeted for the cost of these academies, but the estimated operating costs of each would be five million pesos annually. That would calculate out to 50 million for the ten academies. The hope is that Mexico would compete with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Venezuela for major league baseball players. In 2003 there were 23 players from Mexico playing for major league teams. Last year that number was down to 13.

You can read the full article on the academies at baseballmexico.blogspot.

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