LOS ANGELES – Major League Baseball's biggest development effort for minority players is redirected to one of the biggest players…
LOS ANGELES – Major League Baseball’s biggest development effort for minority players is redirected to one of the biggest players in the sport.
Elite Development Invitational has renamed Hank Aaron Invitational and will include a showcase game that begins next season. The event has been held since 2015 for college age players to bring them to the next level in the game either on or off the field. The program has been run by Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association and USA Baseball.
The announcement was made at Dodger Stadium on Friday before game 3 of the World Series between Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. 19659002] “It means a lot to me. We need someone to help shape this game in what the game is all about. And the game is about us all, not just some of us, but we all have an opportunity and a chance to play this game, says Aaron.
Hank Aaron Invitational will be held in July and August at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida. About 250 players aged 1
3 to 18 will receive training from former major league players and coaches The latest instructors in the program have included Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Dave Winfield together with former director Jerry Manuel.
The 44 best players will be invited to Atlanta to play in a special showcase game at SunTrust Park as part of the festivities “Hank Aaron Week” is set by Braves every year. The program will also include presentations about access to colleges, potential job opportunities in sports one and visit to cultural sites around the city.
“It has been a great success for us. Being able to add Hank and his legacy will improve it and get more opportunities,” says Tony Reagins, who oversees MLB youth programs.
Over the last four years, Elite Development Invitational has seen more than 100 alumni playing in minors or college. Five players have been drafted in the first seven rounds of the past two years, including Hunter Greene, who was the first round of Reds 2017.
“This has been a common program that has really made a difference, we do not only believe in developments of a number of young people who have come through the program in the field, but also outside the field, “said MLBPA CEO Tony Clark.
According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association Participation Report from 2016, baseball participation among African American youth was higher than football (3.8 percent to 3.4 percent). Overall, baseball has seen an increase of 49.1 percent in temporary attendance.