McTaggart has an update on the new Dominican baseball complex, which is apparently six weeks ahead of schedule.
The all-inclusive academy is located in the Guerra Region of Boca Chica, D.R., and just one-half mile from the facilities of the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers and is close to the Kansas City Royals. The complex consists of two and a half playing fields, six pitching mounds, batting cages and an observation tower.
The facility also includes a two-story building with the first floor consisting of administrative offices, educational classrooms, a dining room, a full-service industrial kitchen, weight room, training room, manager and coaches offices, equipment room, clubhouse and laundry room.
The second floor features staff living accommodations, a computer lab with 15-20 work stations and a player entertainment room. Players will be given opportunity to enhance their diets and learn English so that they'll be able to function at a higher level when they move up the developmental chain and reach the United States.
Who will be using this complex?
The Astros will begin holding workouts Monday at their old academy in San Pedro de Macoris for their youngest Dominican players. These are players who will play in the Dominican Summer League in 2010, along with players who will be in Major League camp and Minor League mini camp. Bennett said the group will consist of about 40 players.
The next wave of players begins working out Feb. 2, a group that includes regular Spring Training players and those who will be in the Minor Leagues. They'll work out for a month before coming to the U.S. for the start of Spring Training.
The Dominican Summer League season begins May 30.