International Baseball Partners (IBP) made its first announcement of 2017 by detailing a new academy league structure for the Dominican Republic that promises to set a new direction for the baseball island.
IBP Managing Director, Michael Powers said the initiative includes the structure of cooperating baseball academies in the Dominican Republic to create an “Inter-Academy League” which would be good for the development of baseball talent.
According to their website “IBP is currently constructing the outline of an inter-academy cooperation that will showcase two tiers of baseball talent existing in the Dominican Republic. The first tier is made up of first year eligible players that have never previously signed professional contracts including the much sought after ‘July 2nd’ players. And the second tier is reserved for players that have previously signed with professional organizations and are current free agents.”
“We have identified eight academies that are excited to be a part of IBP Dominican Republic and believe we have the ability to bring new value to the existing baseball academy structure on the island”, Powers continued.
In the meantime, there is no news from Curacao. Two years ago International Baseball Partners announced the construction of a baseball training facility on the island of Curacao, named Project 421 (4 academies in 2 complexes within 1 campus). Together with the former government of Curacao, a MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) was signed. But the next government did not see the use of that facility, so the continuation stalled.
Last December, there were new elections and it remains to be seen if the new government is willing to continue with the project, which will assure work for several hundreds of Curacaoan people.
With the continuation of Project 421 on hold, the start of the Curacao Summer League (which would replace the Venezuelan Summer League) and the Curacao Winter League is postponed as well.
The Dutch Baseball Hangout hopes to announce more positive news soon.