The Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy at Mercy Street Sports Complex, presented by Toyota, is set to host Texas Rangers Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez tomorrow, Friday, June 21, for a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Academy catchers.
Approximately 20 baseball and softball catchers who participate in Academy programming will have the opportunity to hear from the Hall of Famer in a Q&A session, participate in drills and receive photos and autographs.
The event is scheduled to take place on Oates Field from 3-4 p.m., with Rodriguez available to speak to the media at approximately 3:50 p.m.
Media is invited to attend Friday's activities. Parking is available behind the Globe Life Training Center at 2303 Bickers Street, Dallas TX, 75212. Please contact the Communications Department at (817) 273-5203 with any questions.
Rangel and Marcellus breakthrough
In the 2019 draft, 32 players selected had participated in either an Elite Development Invitational, Breakthrough Series or Dream Series event, all joint initiative of MLB and USA Baseball.
This summer, several Academy baseball players will take their turn at participating in those opportunities.
Ricky Rangel (2020, Duncanville High School) and Joshua Marcellus (2020, Sachse High School) are set to represent the Academy at the 2019 Baseball Breakthrough Series at the Compton Youth Academy in Compton, California, beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 23.
Marcellus was on the Rangers Academy RBI All-Star team that traveled to Austin last July for the RBI Southwest Regional.
Rangel, a pitcher and shortstop, was a member of the Rangers Youth Academy team that participated in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup tournament as part of last year's All-Star Game festivities.
"The Academy has very much advanced my skills because they provide me with a beautiful field, indoor facility and amazing strategies to make me better," Rangel said.
For Marcellus, the coaching staff at the Academy has been key.
"Coach Edward Taylor has been so instrumental in my development. He has really helped me improve my skills when it comes to fielding and hitting. My approach to the game and my confidence has really improved. Coach Taylor has taught me how to embrace my gift and intellect for baseball," Marcellus said.
Established in 2008, the Breakthrough Series is a joint effort of USA Baseball and MLB, focusing on developing players on and off the field.
Rangel and Marcellus aren't the only baseball players who will be representing the Academy at showcase events this summer, though.
Colin Moore (2024 grade, Rogers Middle School) and Austin Philips (2024, Young Men's Leadership Academy) have been invited to participate in the re-branded Hank Aaron Invitational, formerly known as the Elite Development Invitational. The unique amateur development event is a youth-oriented, on-field diversity initiative aiming to help high school-age players from diverse backgrounds to the next levels of the game. It will take place July 21-25 in Vero Beach, Florida.
Marco Garcia Wong (2020, North Dallas High School) was invited to participate in the Hank Aaron Invitational in Vero Beach, Florida, from July 27-Aug. 2.
Softball stars shine
Academy softball players are showcasing their skills this summer, too.
Destiny Castillo (2024, Reed Middle School), Miranda Lopez (2022, Woodrow Wilson High School) and Samantha Rodriguez (2021, Townview High School) were selected for the Elite Development Invitational, which will be held July 12-16 in Vero Beach, Florida. EDI is a five-day camp serving as an extended version of the Breakthrough Series. The intense program mirrors the USA Softball Women's National team's training camps.
Melanie Henderson-Lopez (2020, Irving High School) and Erin Ledesma (2020, Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School) represented the Rangers at the Softball Breakthrough Series at the Kansas City Royals Youth Academy from May 23-27.
The Academy's Summer Training Program is underway. Session A runs through June 28, and Session B will run from July 23-Aug. 16.
Programming is Tuesday through Friday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Registration is available at https://texasrangersya.leagueapps.com/camps.
The 2019 Texas Rangers Youth Academy RBI Summer League season wrapped up last weekend for the baseball junior division, and only a few games remain for baseball senior division and softball.
Tryouts are currently underway for RBI All-Stars who will travel to Austin to compete in the RBI Southwest Regionals from July 18-21.
RBI baseball and softball schedules are below. Scheduling is subject to change. Changes will be posted to the @RangersYA Twitter and social media platforms.
Competitive tournaments for each division of the Rangers RBI league will wrap up the summer RBI season.
The Rangers RBI Wood Bat Tournament presented by NIKE opened Wednesday, June 19, with Lancaster defeating the Chiefs. Lancaster moves on to face the Sounds on Saturday. The schedule is below for the double elimination tournament:
The Rangers RBI Softball Tournament presented by NIKE begins Saturday, June 22. The schedule for the single elimination tournament is below:
The Rangers RBI Wood Bat Tournament presented by NIKE begins Monday, June 24 for the junior division. The schedule for the single elimination tournament is below: