Built at a cost of $18 million, the facility spans 85,000 square feet over 45 acres, and includes facilities for both teams. The complex will be used for player development purposes, as prospects in both organizations will reside and train at the facility. The concept of player development academies on the Dominican Republic is separate from the ballparks of the Dominican Winter League, which our own Mark Cryan recently covered in his three-part series, Baseball in the Republic.
Attendees at today’s celebration included Danilo Diaz (Minister of Sports); Ricardo Noboa(Commissioner of Dominican Baseball); Juan Francisco Puello Herrera (President of Caribbean Baseball Federation); Orlando Diaz (President of Dominican Summer League);Leonardo Matos Berrido (President of Dominican Winter League); Winston Llenas(President of Aguilas Baseball Club); Kim Ng (Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball); Rafael Perez (Director of Dominican Republic Operations, Major League Baseball) and executive leadership from both the Twins and Phillies. The event was emceed by Yancen Pujols (Sports Editor, Periodico El Caribe).
“The Minnesota Twins are proud to be in partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies organization on the development of this state-of-the-art player complex in the Dominican Republic,” Twins president & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “We are grateful to so many dedicated staff and partners who have helped make this academy a reality. The vision for this facility is rooted in the personal and physical development of our players. Clearly, the Dominican Republic is a vital source for talent and a community of great importance to our respective organizations.”
“Today is an exciting day for the Phillies and the Twins and for the future of our respective franchises,” said Phillies president Andy MacPhail. “This new facility allows both teams to provide on-field training and development, off-the-field cultural development and educational advancement, all of which are vital to becoming a successful baseball player in the United States.”
Each side of the academy includes three full-sized fields, bullpen mounds, agility field, covered batting cages, dormitory space for up to 78 prospects, dining hall, weight room, training room, video coaching room and three classrooms for English language and Spanish instruction in multiple high school level topics. Additionally, the Twins and Phillies will share a kitchen facility, an auditorium consisting of 98 theater-style seats and a maintenance building.
As an added element to the unveiling of the joint academy, the Twins and Phillies have made a financial contribution to show their commitment and thanks to the neighboring community. These funds will purchase “team kits” that will be given to local under-resourced teams from “Fundacion ENED.” Pitch In For Baseball has assisted in purchasing, packaging and shipping all the kits to the DR.