Fourteen alumni from Major League Baseball's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program were selected in the 2013 MLB Player Draft, which was completed on Saturday after 40 rounds, two Competitive Balance rounds and one Supplemental round. The selections included New York Mets first round pick Dominic Smith (11th overall) and Philadelphia Phillies first round pick J.P. Crawford (16th overall), who are both alumni of the Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI program and the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton. They join James Loney (2002 - LAD), Manny Machado (2010 - BAL), Anthony Rendon (2011 - WAS), Victor Roache (2012 - MIL), Ricky Romero (2005 - TOR), CC Sabathia (1998 - CLE) and Justin Upton (2005 - ARI) as RBI alumni drafted in the first round.
Additional RBI alumni drafted in 2013 were Kevin Franklin (Venice BGC/UYA, 2nd round, CIN); Cory Simpson (Houston RBI, 6th round, SEA); Tyler Mahle (Angels RBI, 7th round, CIN); Willie Allen (Boston Red Sox RBI, 16th round, WAS); Fabian Roman (Jersey City RBI, 16th round, CIN); John Slater (Detroit Arsenal RBI, 31st round, ATL); Corey Ray (Chicago White Sox RBI, 33rd round, SEA); Cory Jordan (Houston RBI, 35th round, TB); Marshawn Taylor (Chicago White Sox RBI, 35th round, SEA); Juan Avena (Venice BGC/UYA, 37th round, NYM); Ro Coleman (Chicago White Sox RBI, 40th round, CWS); and Sal Mendez (Jersey City RBI, 40th round, TEX). Eight of these RBI alumni (Avena, Coleman, Crawford, Mendez, Ray, Roman, Simpson and Smith) have participated in the RBI World Series, the championship tournament of the RBI program, and six (Coleman, Franklin, Mendez, Ray and Taylor) were on the team representing RBI in the 2012 MLB-sponsored Tournament of Stars, which is the primary vehicle used by USA Baseball in selecting the 18U national team.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate each of these young men on being selected in the 2013 MLB Player Draft and wish them well as they pursue their dreams of one day reaching the Major Leagues," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities continues to produce quality baseball talent that can compete at the professional level. The program has steadily grown over the years, and I am proud of the results to date. I look forward to both RBI's continued growth and the contributions of all of our 2013 draftees."
Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, including 63 players since 2008. The RBI program provides tournament opportunities for professional scouting exposure, including the Tournament of Stars and the RBI World Series. Of the 29 RBI players selected in the 2012 and 2013 MLB Player Drafts, 16 have played in a RBI World Series tournament (between 2009 and 2012).
Alumni on MLB rosters during the 2013 regular season include: Michael Bourn (Cleveland Indians), Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers), Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics), Yovani Gallardo (Milwaukee Brewers), James Loney (Tampa Bay Rays), Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), James McDonald (Pittsburgh Pirates), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves), Tyler Skaggs (Arizona Diamondbacks), Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves) and Chris Young (Oakland Athletics), among others.
The first round of the 2013 MLB Player Draft featured the selection of six African-American players, including Smith; Crawford; Anderson; Phillip Ervin (27th overall, CIN); Travis Demeritte (30th overall, TEX); and Judge. In addition, African-American players made up 14 of the 73 selections (19.2%) made on the first day of the Draft. Among the others were Josh Hart (37th overall, BAL); Clinton Hollon (47th overall, TOR); Austin Wilson (49th overall, SEA); Justin Williams (52nd overall, ARI); Devin Williams (54th overall, MIL); Akeem Bostick (62nd overall, TEX); Kevin Franklin (67th overall, CIN); and Jordan Paroubeck (69th overall, SD).
The RBI program is a Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide opportunities to play baseball and softball, to encourage excellence and achievement in education, and to teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons to young people, ages 5 to 18, from underserved and urban communities. The RBI program provides more than 210,000 boys and girls the opportunity to play baseball and softball in more than 300 programs established in more than 200 cities worldwide. MLB and all 30 Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information, please visit: MLB.com/rbi.