Beltran's academy in PR produces 3 draftees

Beltran's academy in PR produces 3 draftees

NEW YORK -- In this week's MLB Draft, Carlos Beltran didn't just inherit some potential future teammates. He also helped shepherd in baseball's next generation.

Three players from the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico were selected this weekend, the earliest being Mario Feliciano, a catcher the Brewers picked with the 75th pick on Day 1 of the Draft. Two more Academy products were drafted on day three as well: catcher Bryan Torres, whom the Tigers picked in the 23rd round, and shortstop Jomar Cortes, a Brewers' 37th-round selection.

Beltran said prior to the Draft that he expected three or four players to be drafted from the academy, proving that his intuition as a scout might rival his instincts as a ballplayer. Further attempting to solidify his status as a scout, Beltran strapped on his evaluator's hat to talk about Feliciano and came up with this report:

• He's a strong kid
• He's worked real, real hard
• He's got a lot of power, he's big and he's strong for a 17-year-old
• He's a little raw behind the plate but he's young

The veteran outfielder's evaluation isn't far off from's scouting report on Feliciano, which raves about his power and approach at the plate but questions his ability to remain a catcher long-term.

After Feliciano was drafted, Beltran said he gave the young catcher a call to congratulate him and his family. But after a round of congratulations, Beltran also offered some advice for the catcher to live by.

"This is the beginning," Beltran said he told Feliciano. "At the end of the day, make sure you go out there and give your best every day. Professional life, it's not easy. A lot of people think, 'I'm a professional now, I just have to let the ability take over.' Yes, you have to do some of that, but most importantly, you have to make sure that you develop those abilities every day."

Nick Suss is a reporter for based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.