On Wednesday, the Marlins’ front office got together with Dominican Republic authorities to break ground on a new baseball academy, further proof of the organization’s interest in continuing to develop international talent and bringing it aboard. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and GM Kim Ng attended the event along with D.R. President Luis Abinader and others in Boca Chica.
This world-class facility will even provide benefits outside the Dominican Republic, as it’s now common that players from other Latin American territories go to the cited country to reach a higher level of development as players. As a matter of fact, six Marlins who are currently assigned to play in the Dominican Summer League were in attendance: Steven Adderley (from Bahamas), Yiddi Cappe (Cuba), Kevin Guerrero (Dominican Republic), Ronald Hernández (Venezuela), Jesus León (México), and Germain Ruiz (Panamá).
And when we call it a future world-class facility, we mean it. According to Beyond The Bases, youngsters will be able to play in three MLB-size fields. The project also includes an agility field, four covered batting cage tunnels, and six pitching mounds. But beyond baseball, the complex will feature a two-story athletic and administration building, with a dining hall, chapel, and 4,800-plus square foot weight room.
“One of the main attractions in baseball are players from the Dominican Republic and from different countries around the island. That is why we are initiating development projects by building this new complex in the country,” Jeter said.
Also and even more important as a compromise to form integral adults, the Marlins will include four classrooms and a computer lab. Once it’s built, the facility will double the size of their current complex and will reportedly be one of the most modern complexes in Dominican Republic. The Marlins’ investment is estimated to be $12.5 million.
The Athletic previously reported that the Marlins originally projected the academy to be completed in early 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic presumably played a major role in altering those plans. Better late than never, of course.
Construction of the new academy will begin immediately, and even though the end date is unknown, its amenities are expected to rival those of any other MLB club.