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Phillies, Twins open Dominican Rep. baseball academy

MaikelFranco.bmpGood morning! Here’s the news:

ACADEMY OPENS: The Phillies and Twins opened their shared baseball academy in the Dominican Republic Tuesday. Per Todd Zolecki, the $18 million, 85,000-square foot facility in Boca Chica includes three full-sized fields for each team, bullpen mounds, agility fields, covered batting cages, dormitory space, training and weight rooms, dining halls, coaching rooms and classrooms.

Players will not only learn the game, but also English and Spanish language instruction.

This new academy will certainly help the Phils attract more talent from the Dominican; current rostered players the Phils signed from there include Maikel Franco and Hector Neris. Young prospects from the DR include Jhailyn Ortiz, Jose Pujols, Elniery Garcia, Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina and Franklyn Kilome.

CALL TO THE HALL: We’ll learn at 5 p.m. who’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame in the Class of 2017.

Currently, per Ryan Thibodaux’s wonderful Hall of Fame ballot tracker, it looks as if Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell should break the 75 percent barrier to get in. Ivan Rodriguez is on the bubble, while Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero are on the other side of 75.

As for former Phils, Curt Schilling is at 51 percent per Thibodaux, so he’s likely out in his fifth year of eligibility. And both Pat Burrell and Matt Stairs are sitting at zero votes. Sigh.

For what it’s worth, my ballot (which doesn’t count):

  • Barry Bonds
  • Roger Clemens
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Tim Raines
  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Trevor Hoffman
  • Larry Walker

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