Orioles break ground on new Dominican academy

The Baltimore Orioles today broke ground on their new, state-of-the-art training academy in Guerra, Dominican Republic. Joined by Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader, Dominican Republic Minister of Sports Francisco Camacho Rivas, and Dominican Republic Commissioner of Baseball Junior Noboa, Orioles Chairman and CEO John Angelos, Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias, and Senior Director of International Scouting Koby Perez were among numerous dignitaries in attendance to celebrate the event hosted by the Orioles and emceed by Yancen Pujols.

“We have made tremendous strides over the last couple of years in establishing our international presence and revamping our baseball operations infrastructure, and this project may be the most momentous step yet,” stated Elias. “International scouting and player development are critical to the future success of the Orioles, and baseball as a whole. This new academy will be the Latin American home of the Orioles, and once completed we expect it to be one of the finest training facilities in the Dominican.”

The 22.5-acre complex will be home to the Orioles’ regional facility for Caribbean, Central, and South American player development operations, which will include three full fields, a sports turfed agility field, batting and pitching tunnels, administrative buildings, dormitories, and educational facilities.

The project is being led by landowner and developer Brian Mejia of Brison SRL. The Orioles have been represented by renowned Dominican academy architect, José Mella. Mella is considered one of the foremost training facility architects in the Dominican Republic and has designed around half of the current academies in the DR today.

Once complete, the complex will house over 100 players, coaches, and staff, providing dormitory style rooms and entertainment spaces. It will include three classrooms and a computer lab, which will provide on-site learning and an education plan for each player. The complex will also be home to a dining room that will offer daily nutritious meals.

Today’s ceremony was also attended by multiple Orioles Alumni, including Daniel Cabrera, Ubaldo Jimémez, Radhamez Liz, Melvin Mra, Félix Pié, and Miguel Tejada, many of whom began their careers playing on similar fields and academies in the area.

Along with their time spent at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Orioles and the Oriole Advocates also teamed up to provide youth baseball equipment, including gloves and bats, and Orioles apparel to Escuela Básica Carmen Dilia Ortiz and the Los Prospectos Little League team in the Dominican Republic. Cabrera, Jiménez, Mora, and Tejada were on hand to help hand out the gear to ensure the school and team, with kids ages 5-10, are fully equipped to play.

“This partnership group continues to execute the long-term plan announced in the fall of 2018 to invest and reinvest in baseball facilities, technology, front office research and expertise, and player talent. Our organization’s capital commitment to the Dominican Republic is yet another demonstration of our confident long view of the value of MLB, Orioles, and Camden Yards brand platforms,” said Angelos. “As we continue to invest and give back across Maryland and Florida, we see this as another opportunity to make a difference internationally in the Dominican community as we strengthen the future of Orioles baseball.”