Major League Baseball announced today that it has hired Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar as a special consultant tasked with focusing on youth development in Puerto Rico. Alomar will serve as an ambassador at events and development initiatives and will participate in youth clinics and tournaments.
Major League Baseball has an interest in developing the game in Puerto Rico, as the number of Puerto Rican major leaguers is down compared to what it was in the past. The press release announcing the Alomar hire, however, doesn’t mention that the downward trajectory in numbers of Puerto Rican players began around the time the draft was imposed on the island and teenage players couldn’t sign free agent contracts like their counterparts in the Dominican Republic can.
And, for that matter, like Alomar did himself. He signed a free agent contract with the Padres in 1985, right after he turned 17. I’m sure he has some ideas, though.