MLB to launch a training academy in Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico used to produce scads of Major Leaguers. Then MLB subjected Puerto Rico to the draft and things dried up considerably. Whether that is mere correlation or causation is a topic for debate, but the idea that Puerto Rico no longer produces baseball talent the way it used to is hard to dispute.

Now baseball is doing something about it:

Major League Baseball will launch a training program in Puerto Rico aimed at talented teenagers who cannot afford specialized academies, an effort to spark player development in the U.S. territory..

Officials will hold tryouts this month in the capital of San Juan and select 50 players ages 14-18 to participate in an intensive after-school program, MLB senior vice president for baseball operations Kim Ng said Tuesday.

This is part of a larger initiative in Puerto Rico, but it’s certainly the largest part of it, and something worth doing.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.