Since the early 1950′s MLB organizations have found their way to the Dominican Republic in search of talented prospects. By mid to late 80′s baseball training facilities were born all over the island.
The LA Dodgers facility Campo Las Palmas, which opened its doors 25 years ago in March 1987, was the first-of-its kind facility and has since been replicated by numerous teams throughout baseball. Located in the town of Guerra, just east of the Dominican
Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo on 75 acres of land, the academy is equipped with two full and two half baseball fields, a dining room, kitchen, recreation room and two two-story dormitories that accommodate up to 100 players. Among the notable alumni to reach the Major Leagues from Campo Las Palmas are current Dodgers Willy Aybar and Franquelis Osoria, as well as former Dodgers Adrian Beltre, Pedro Martinez, Raul Mondesi and Pedro Astacio, among others.
Presently every MLB organization has an operating facility in DR. The New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Tampabay Rays and KC Royals have all moved into new facilities in recent years. Some more fancy than others, but the common factor is every team is in search for that diamond in the rough while scouting and developing these young prospects. The Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies recently broke ground and are set to open their new facilities in 2013.