The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks, @LosDbacks) will host their fifth annual high school graduation at the team's academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic tomorrow. Among the team executives expected to take part in the event are Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen, Executive Vice Presidents Tom Harris and Nona
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks, @LosDbacks) will host their fifth annual high school graduation at the team's academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic tomorrow. Among the team executives expected to take part in the event are Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen, Executive Vice Presidents Tom Harris and Nona Lee, Sr. VP/Assistant GMs Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye, Vice President of Latin Operations Junior Noboa and Vice President of Player Development Mike Bell.
The first-of-its-kind program will see 10 students graduate from high school (Roaldo Carvajal, Carlos De la Cruz, Pitching Coach Manuel Garcia, Alexander Hernandez, Victor Martinez, Liover Peguero, Oliver Rosario and former D-backs prospects Felix Cuevas, Johan Duran and Geraldo Sanchez), bringing the total number of 12th-grade graduates to 36 during the first five years of the program. Eric Mendez will also graduate from 8th grade during the ceremony.
Garcia began his career with the D-backs as a pitcher and catcher and after being released in 2010, served as a volunteer assistant pitching coach in the Dominican Republic from 2010-13 before being named the pitching coach for the D-backs Rookie League team in Arizona. He will serve as the pitching coach for the Rookie-Advanced Missoula Osprey during the 2019 season.
The program stemmed from a 2013 promise made by D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina -- who attended last year's graduation -- that the team would provide the youth of his country with the best education among all 30 franchises. The unique part of the D-backs' program is that prospects continue to have their education funded by the team even if they are no longer playing in the organization. Such is the case with Sanchez and Cuevas, who were previously released but remained in the program and Duran, who was traded to Minnesota last season but will still be receiving his degree.
"This is our largest graduating class yet and it is gratifying to see so many of our young prospects follow through and obtain their high school education," said Hall. "I am particularly proud of Manny Garcia who continues to further his career off the field and has become our first coach to complete the program. He is setting a tremendous example for our players and this program is a commitment from the highest levels of the organization to help all of these young men find success both on and off the field."
The ceremony will take place tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. local time, when the players will receive their diplomas. The program includes the players being required to attend school two days per week for four hours with assigned tutors and with weekly progress evaluations performed by the education committee. Each student is provided with a laptop computer and the team covers the cost of tuition for each player