Phils' Dominican Republic academy opens

Club will share 85,000-square foot facility with Twins

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic is open for business.

The Phillies and Twins announced Tuesday the completion of their shared academy in Boca Chica, which is east of Santo Domingo on the south side of the island. The $18 million, 85,000-sqaure foot facility is housed on 45 acres. The teams said prospects from both teams will live and train at the academy, and they will participate in education and cultural development programs.

Phillies owner John Middleton, president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and others attended Tuesday's festivities, which included numerous dignitaries and officials from the Dominican.

"Today is an exciting day for the Phillies and the Twins and for the future of our respective franchises," MacPhail said in a statement. "This new facility allows both teams to provide on-field training and development, off-the-field cultural development and educational advancement, all of which are vital to becoming a successful baseball player in the United States."

Each team's academy includes three full-sized fields, bullpen mounds, agility field, covered batting cages, dormitory space for as many as 78 prospects, dining hall, weight room, training room, video coaching room and three classrooms for English language and Spanish instruction in multiple high school-level topics. The teams will share a kitchen facility, an auditorium and a maintenance building.

The Phillies and Twins also made a financial contribution to show their commitment and thanks to the neighboring community. The funds will purchase "team kits" that will be given to local under-resourced teams from "Fundacion ENED." For more information about ENED, visit https://ened.org/?lang=en

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.