28 of baseballs 30 teams have Dominican Academies. Its a simple enough setup: Dominican players are often signed when they are 16 year old, but they do not have the physical or social tools to be dropped straight into pro-ball in the States. So these Academies were stood up. Once a kid is assigned to an academy they will spend every day of the week playing ball, leaning about the United States, language skills and eating. Lots of eating. For a lot of these kids they need to add weight, and so proper nutrition and physical training quickly becomes paramount.
Here is where the organizations sort out the players who have a future in the game, and with it a promotion to a short-season league in the states.
Sandber Pimentel is one of those players.
Pimentel signed with the A’s in 2011, he was 17. Since then he has done nothing but impress the A’s. He had a very refined approach at the plate, and the size and power projections of your prototypical first basemen. David Ortiz is one comp that I have seen a couple times, which is high praise.
I was really happy to get this autograph. I saw some people drooling over his numbers on a scouting forum so decided to take a shot, and got this back in the mail in just over a week. Its a cool autograph–I think he signed it twice?–and I am thrilled to add one of the A’s best new prospects to my collection.