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Academy notebook

At Globe Life Park in Arlington, dreams come true when players make their Major League debuts.
October 12, 2018

At Globe Life Park in Arlington, dreams come true when players make their Major League debuts. Just 16 miles from Globe Life Park at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, young athletes are taking the first steps towards making those dreams into

At Globe Life Park in Arlington, dreams come true when players make their Major League debuts. Just 16 miles from Globe Life Park at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, young athletes are taking the first steps towards making those dreams into reality.
 
In early October, Ruben Martinez Jr.'s family received an email from MLB inviting him to sign up for the MLB Draft Prospect Link, meaning he is officially on the radar of scouts surveying talent for MLB clubs. 
 
"My dad was very, very happy. At first, we thought it was a fake email. So my mom came (to the Academy) asking, and they said it was a legitimate email. And I've just been happy ever since," Martinez said. "I was really surprised. It really caught me off guard."
 
The centralized Prospect Link platform was developed by MLB to streamline the collection of biographical and medical information and allow MLB and MLB Clubs to communicate directly with amateur players and their families. 
 
Juan Leonel Garciga, the Texas Rangers Director of Youth Academy & Youth Baseball/Softball Programs, was able to reassure Martinez's mom that the email was legitimate.
 
"Ruben has worked very hard this summer and when MLB reached out requesting for an additional catcher for their Prospect Development Pipeline Premier back in June, we thought Ruben would be a good fit. He had an opportunity to compete with some of the top players in the DFW area and it looks like he held his own," Garciga said. 
 
"We're hoping that people begin to take notice of the talent that is right in our backyard here in West Dallas, and that more of our players are given the opportunity to compete at the next level."
Martinez, who graduated from Nimitz High School, has the support of his family. His mom, Violeta Romero, is working through the registration process required by the site. But the whole family has been involved in his baseball journey since the beginning.
 
"He's been playing since he was five years old. His dad and his uncle have always coached him," Romero said of her son.
 
Participating in training programs and traveling to Washington D.C. as part of the Academy's team in the inaugural Commissioner's Cup tournament has already given the catcher an opportunity to represent the Texas Rangers, his favorite team   
 
Now, he's one step closer to fulfilling his Big League dreams. 
 
"Ever since I was little, I've always told everybody I was going to be up there one day. And now that it is possible, I'm going to try to pursue that," Martinez said. 
  
Still Camping 
 
Through the first three weeks of the Youth Academy Fall Training program, 610 baseball and softball players have taken part in the free activities.
 
Programming occurs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. through November 15. Registration is now available for baseball and softball players ages seven through 18 at www.rangers.com/academy
Fall RBI
 

The fall season of RBI baseball and softball is underway at the Academy, with games being played on Saturdays through November 17. 
 
An updated schedule for the eight baseball and four softball teams playing at the Academy is below. 
 
Due to possible inclement weather in the forecast for tomorrow, Saturday, October 13, this week's schedule is subject to change. Updates will be posted via the @RangersYA twitter account. 
 
ACADEMY RBI FALL SCHEDULE
DATE   TIME   HOME TEAM   AWAY TEAM   FIELD     
13-Oct   9:00 AM   Lancaster   Mustangs   Oates Field   baseball
13-Oct   9:00 AM   Hard Hitters   Jaguars   Field of Dreams   baseball
13-Oct   11:30 AM   Mercy Street   Vikings   Oates Field   baseball
13-Oct   11:30 AM   Leopards   Rangers   Field of Dreams   baseball
13-Oct   9:00 AM   Mercy Street   Rangers   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
13-Oct   11:00 AM   Tigers   A's   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
20-Oct   9:00 AM   Mercy Street   Leopards   Oates Field   baseball
20-Oct   9:00 AM   Mustangs   Rangers   Field of Dreams   baseball
20-Oct   11:30 AM   Vikings   Hard Hitters   Oates Field   baseball
20-Oct   11:30 AM   Lancaster   Jaguars   Field of Dreams   baseball
20-Oct   9:00 AM   Tigers   Rangers   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
20-Oct   11:00 AM   A's   Mercy Street   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
27-Oct   9:00 AM   Jaguars   Rangers   Oates Field   baseball
27-Oct   9:00 AM   Leopards   Vikings   Field of Dreams   baseball
27-Oct   11:30 AM   Hard Hitters   Mustangs   Oates Field   baseball
27-Oct   11:30 AM   Lancaster   Mercy Street   Field of Dreams   baseball
27-Oct   9:00 AM   Rangers   A's   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
27-Oct   11:00 AM   Mercy Street   Tigers   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
3-Nov   9:00 AM   Hard Hitters   Leopards   Oates Field   baseball
3-Nov   9:00 AM   Vikings   Jaguars   Field of Dreams   baseball
3-Nov   11:30 AM   Mustangs   Mercy Street   Field of Dreams   baseball
3-Nov   11:30 AM   Rangers   Lancaster   Oates Field   baseball
3-Nov   9:00 AM   Rangers   Mercy Street   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
3-Nov   11:00 AM   A's   Tigers   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
9-Nov   7:00 PM   Mercy Street   A's   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
9-Nov   7:00 PM   Rangers   Tigers   Kershaw's Challenge Field   softball
10-Nov   2:00 PM   Mercy Street   Rangers   Oates Field   baseball
10-Nov   4:00 PM   Jaguars   Leopards   Oates Field   baseball
10-Nov   6:00 PM   Vikings   Mustangs   Oates Field   baseball
10-Nov   8:00 PM   Lancaster   Hard Hitters   Oates Field   baseball
17-Nov   9:00 AM   Jaguars   Mustangs   Oates Field   baseball
17-Nov   9:00 AM   Vikings   Rangers   Field of Dreams   baseball
17-Nov   11:30 AM   Lancaster   Leopards   Oates Field   baseball
17-Nov   11:30 AM   Mercy Street   Hard Hitters   Field of Dreams   baseball
17-Nov   9:00 AM   Tigers   Mercy Street   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
17-Nov   11:00 AM   A's   Rangers   Josh Hamilton Field   softball
 
Also Taking the Field
 
The Academy is also home field for Mercy Street Little League. The fall season began Friday, September 28. 
 
West Dallas Little League partners with the Little League Urban initiative to facilitate baseball and softball for participants ages four through 12.
 
Registration is available at https://www.mercystreetdallas.org/baseball/
 
Coming Soon
 
The Buck O'Neil Scouts Association Clinic: Saturday, November 10
 
The clinic aims to promote baseball in inner-cities by educating coaches and mentoring players.
 
Founded in honor of the late legendary player and scout Buck O'Neil, the Buck O'Neil Professional Baseball Scouts & Coaches Association was created to provide a forum for scouts and coaches to share their passion for the game. O'Neil was the first African American to coach in the Major Leagues and one of the first to scout fulltime.
 
Registration is available at rangers.com/academy for players ages 14 through 18.
 
Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp: Saturday, November 10  
 
This will mark the seventh annual Kershaw's Challenge Baseball Camp, hosted by Mercy Street. 
 
Dallas native Clayton Kershaw and his wife Ellen founded Kershaw's Challenge in 2011 and have since given over six millions dollars to support at-risk children and families around the globe. The foundation contributed generously to the building of the Academy facility, which includes Kershaw's Challenge Field named in his honor.