Thirty alumni from three of Major League Baseball's on-field diversity efforts, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the MLB Urban Youth Academy and the Breakthrough Series, were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft, which was completed on Saturday. The selections included Marcus Wilson (Competitive Balance Round B, ARI) and Josh Morgan (3rd Round, TEX), who were participants in all three programs.
REVIVING BASEBALL IN INNER CITIES
Twelve alumni from the RBI program were selected, including five from MLB Club-run RBI programs and the first-ever draftee from the Minnesota Twins RBI program. The list includes, Marcus Wilson and Josh Morgan from Venice (CA) Boys & Girls Club RBI; Alex Real (24th Round, MIN) and Jorge Perez (30th Round, NYY) from Arizona RBI; Dazon Cole (29th Round, ATL) and Evin Einhardt (29th Round, CWS) from Detroit PAL RBI; Daniel Sweet (25th Round, TEX) from Mississippi RBI; Ronald Williams (2nd Round, STL) from Miami Marlins RBI; Onas Farfan (21st Round, MIN) from Minnesota Twins RBI; and Darius Day (23rd Round, TEX), Anthony Justiniano (38th Round, CWS) and James Davison (39th Round, CWS) from Chicago White Sox RBI. Eight of these RBI alumni (Cole, Davison, Day, Justiniano, Morgan, Sweet, Williams and Wilson) have participated in the RBI World Series, the championship tournament of the RBI program. Each year during the RBI World Series, RBI works with the MLB Scouting Bureau for a scouting showcase day where participants demonstrate their skills in front of collegiate and professional scouts. Of the nearly 40 RBI players selected in the 2012-2014 MLB Drafts, 27 have played in the RBI World Series (between 2009 and 2013).
The RBI program, which has served more than one million young people since its inception in 1989, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, including more than 70 players since 2008.
MLB URBAN YOUTH ACADEMY
Seven alumni from the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton were selected, including Wilson and Josh Morgan; as well as Luke Dykstra (7th Round, ATL), Jared Robinson (11th Round, CLE), Denz'l Chapman (32nd Round, OAK), Tyree Davis (37th Round, MIN) and Nathan Rodriguez (39th Round, COL).
MLB Urban Youth Academies operate on a year-round basis, offering free baseball and softball instruction, including skills clinics, for local youth. There are three Academies in operation in Compton, California; Houston, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Each Academy offers educational and baseball vocation programming, including tutoring and free seminars on umpiring, athletic field management, scouting and player development, sports and broadcast journalism, public relations and statistics, athletic sports training, and gang resistance education. Since 2007, more than 400 MLB Urban Youth Academy players have gone on to participate in collegiate baseball or softball programs, more than 100 have been drafted, and six Compton Academy alumni have reached the Major Leagues, including Khris Davis (Milwaukee Brewers), Anthony Gose (Toronto Blue Jays), Aaron Hicks (Minnesota Twins), Efren Navarro (currently in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim system), Trayvon Robinson (currently in the Los Angeles Dodgers system) and Jon Singleton (Houston Astros).
Twenty-one past participants of the Breakthrough Series were selected, including four in the first round. The list includes: Carlos Rodon (1st Round, CWS), Touki Toussaint (1st Round, ARI), Luis Ortiz (1st Round, TEX), Justus Sheffield (1st Round, CLE), Jacob Gatewood (Competitive Balance Round A, MIL), Monte Harrison (2nd Round, MIL), Ronnie Williams (2nd Round, STL), Marcus Wilson (Competitive Balance Round B, ARI), Josh Morgan (3rd Round, TEX), D.K. Carey (7th Round, WSH), Roberto Gonzalez (15th Round, MIN), Tyler Hill (19th Round, BOS), Darius Day (23rd Round, TEX), Vance Vizcaino (29th Round, KC), Dazon Cole (29th Round, ATL), Adam Choplick (32nd Round, CWS), Denz'l Chapman (32nd Round, OAK), Luis Alvarado (33rd Round, BOS), Tyree Davis (37th Round, MIN), Anthony Justiniano (38th Round, CWS) and James Davison (39th Round, CWS), who participated in the 2013 Breakthrough Series.
The annual Breakthrough Series is a joint effort by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball to expose a diverse group of some of the top high school baseball players in the country to professional scouts and collegiate recruiters. The event is completely cost-free for the group of invitation-only participants. More than 100 participants of the Breakthrough Series have been selected in the First-Year Player Draft, including more than 60 combined from the 2012-2014 drafts.