Academy Notebook: Erin Ledesma earns RBI for RBI Scholarship

July 24th, 2020

The Texas Rangers today announced that Erin Ledesma, a participant at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, Presented by Toyota, has been named one of the 12 recipients of Major League Baseball’s RBI for RBI Scholarship.

Ledesma will receive $5,000 that is renewable annually up to $20,000 for her undergraduate education.

The Sunset High School graduate has been honing her skills at the Academy since 2018, playing in the Rangers RBI League and participating in camps and clinics.  

Along the way, she has represented the Rangers Academy at the Jennie Finch Classic (2018 and 2019), the Breakthrough Series (2019), and the Elite Development Invitational (2018). She also earned spots on the Rangers Academy RBI All-Star team in 2018 and 2019, competing in the RBI Southwest Regionals in Austin, where she was part of the 2019 All-Star team that secured the first RBI Regionals victory in program history and advanced all the way to the championship contest.

Ledesma was one of the 12 Academy athletes who participated in Academy Signing Day at Globe Life Field on July 19, symbolically signing her National Letter of Intent to continue her softball career at Southern University next year.

“Erin Ledesma is the epitome of a scholar athlete. It has been a joy to watch her grow into the young woman she has become. I look forward to watching her take her game to the next level where she will no doubt excel both on and off the field. I can confidently say that she is the best shortstop I have had the privilege of coaching,” Academy Director Juan Leonel Garciga said.

The RBI for RBI Scholarship is funded by MLB’s Youth Foundation. Recipients demonstrate leadership abilities through participation in community service and extracurricular activities and are also selected based on their academic record.

The Rangers also award two RBI Scholarships annually. Those recipients will be announced in the coming days. 

Singing the Anthem

 On the field at the Academy, Patrick Parker Jr. (2023, Lancaster High School) plays for Lancaster in the Rangers RBI Baseball Junior Division. But he’ll be serving a different role at Globe Life Field on Sunday, July 26, when he’ll sing the National Anthem for the Rangers third regular season home game at their new ballpark.

About Academy Signing Day

Twelve Academy baseball and softball players from the class of 2020 made their college sports plans official at Globe Life Field on Sunday, July 19, as the facility hosted Academy Signing Day.  

Duncanville High School graduate Rolando Ramirez was one of the 12 Academy athletes who participated in the event, symbolically signing his National Letter of Intent to play college baseball at Wayland Baptist University.

“It’s a dream to be on a Major League field and [to be] able to sign to the college you’ve worked so hard for over the past six years of your life, working hard, grinding every day,” Ramirez said. “The goal is to hopefully one day play on one of these fields. So signing to play another four years to hopefully get the chance to play at the next level is nice.”

 Academy Director Juan Leonel Garciga introduced each athlete, and the Globe Life Field video boards featured highlight videos of each player, voiced by Rangers PA Announcer Chuck Morgan.

Fourteen Academy athletes from the class of 2020 have committed to play college baseball or softball. All except Kylie Cox and Ian Johnson participated in Sunday’s festivities.

Playoff Time for RBI Softball

The Rangers Academy RBI Softball season wrapped up on Wednesday, July 22 with the Gophers beating the Wood Ducks, 15-12, in the Championship.

Cameron Alardin (Grand Prairie High School, 2022) went 4-for-6 with 5 RBI and took home MVP honors.

On the baseball side, Senior Division playoff games began Monday, July 20. The schedule of remaining games is listed below.

Baseball Senior Division Playoffs
7/24 | 7 p.m. | Hard Hitters | Eagles | Oates Field
7/25 | 7 p.m. | TBD | TBD | Oates Field
7/27 | 7 p.m. | Raiders | Crawdads | Oates Field
7/30 | 7 p.m. | Championship Game | Oates Field

The baseball Junior Division teams wrapped up regular season play on Wednesday, July 22. Playoff games begin Saturday, July 25, and the schedule is listed below.

Baseball Junior Division Playoffs

7/25 | 9 a.m. | Nashville | Seahawks | Oates Field
7/25 | 12 p.m. | Raiders | Lancaster | Oates Field
7/25 | 3 p.m. | Monarchs | Patriots | Oates Field
7/28 | 7 p.m. | TBD | TBD | Oates Field
7/29 | 7 p.m. | Sounds | TBD | Oates Field
7/31 | 7 p.m. | TBD | TBD | Oates Field

RBI scheduling is subject to change. Updates are available by following @RangersYA on Twitter and Instagram.

Rangers Baseball and Softball RBI leagues were the first Academy programming to get underway after the three-month pause due to COVID-19. Approximately 450 high school baseball and softball players have competed on the 26 RBI teams in Junior and Senior division play during the seven-week season. 

Baseball games are played on Oates Field and Field of Dreams, with softball competition taking place on Hamilton Field and Clayton Kershaw Challenge Field. Due to safety protocols, the Globe Life Indoor Training Center will remain closed at the present time. The facility is operating under the guidelines established for youth sports participation as part of the State of Texas’ reopening.

Science of Baseball Goes Virtual

Virtual Science of Baseball presented by Nike allows students to play the new gaming app STEMadium, which teaches science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The three-week, virtual summer camp is designed for students entering fifth through eighth grades. Activities kicked off Monday, July 20.

Buckner Virtual Programming

Academy athletes are continuing to take part in virtual classes offered by Buckner International’s Family Hope Center at the Rangers MLB Youth Academy. Online summer classes in both English and Spanish began four weeks ago, while in-person classes will resume once the Academy’s indoor facilities reopen.