Dodgers' Dominican Facility Flourishes

The Los Dodgers have hired Jose Castellanos as Director of Finance at Campo Las Palmas, the club's player development facility in the Dominican Republic. Castellanos will work directly with Director of Operations Eleodoro Arias, Scouting Coordinator Ralph Avila, and Field Coordinator Antonio Bautista

  .   The hiring of Castellanos comes on the heels of significant investments made in the academy, which opened in 1987 under the supervision and direction of Avila and quickly became a model for all other Major League franchises. Over the past six months, the franchise has invested more than $100,000 in Campo Las Palmas.  

"The Dodgers continue to show their commitment to finding and developing the best players all over the world," said Avila, who serves as an Advisor on Latin American Scouting and Player Development.  

"The addition of Jose Castellanos, along with so many former Dodgers that remain in the organization like Manny Mota, Jose Vizcaino, Mariano Duncan, and Wilton Guerrero, demonstrate how important the team considers Campo Las Palmas and the relationships they have in the Dominican Republic."   

On the field, the Dodgers have signed more than 20 prospects over the past year at an expense of greater than $1 million. The facility has developed some of the game's top talent during the past two decades, including Pedro Martinez, Ramon Martinez, Raul Mondesi, and Adrian Beltre. Among current players on the Dodgers' 40-man roster, Tony Abreu, Ramon Troncoso, and Mario Alvarez were all signed and developed at Campo Las Palmas.  

  Tampa Bay's Willy Aybar and Joel Guzman and Pittsburgh's Franquelis Osoria were all developed by the Dodgers, as was the Mexican-born Royals closer Joakim Soria, who spent time in the Dominican Summer League for the Dodgers. Alejandro de Aza (Florida) and Julio Pimentel (Kansas City) were both signed by the Dodgers and trained at the facility and are currently on the 40-man roster of their respective organizations.   

Earlier this month, Major League Baseball released the Opening Day rosters of all 30 Major League teams, revealing that 28 percent of all players were born outside the 50 United States, including 88 players from the Dominican Republic.   

Later this month, a contingent of Dodger executives, including General Manager Ned Colletti, Special Assistant to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda, and Special Assistant for Baseball Operations, Jose Vizcaino, will visit the Dominican Republic to interact with scouts, media members, and local business associates.  

The team is also expected to visit Futuro Vivo, a school located in Santo Domingo that was adopted and supported by the Dodgers.  The school offers education, nutrition and medical assistance to more than 500 underprivileged children. When Dodger Owner Frank McCourt and President Jamie McCourt visited in the school in 2006, they pledged another $20,000 to help continue the club's support.   

In 2005, Lasorda arranged for three buses to be donated to Futuro Vivo and last year, he coordinated the donation of another bus to be giving to the Association of Sports Journalists in the Dominican Republic.   

Castellanos joins the Dodgers following experience with several Dominican professional baseball teams, including the Escogido Leones, Licey Tigres, and San Francisco de Macoris Gigantes. A graduate of Catholic University in Santo Domingo, he most recently served as the Operations Manager at Hotel las Caobas and the Las Caobas Baseball Training Camp in San Francisco de Macoris.  

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