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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL LAUNCHES 2023 “IDENTIFICATION TOUR”

MLB Identification Tour - Image Credit: MLB

Workout Style Events Will Seek to Identify Diverse Baseball Talent

In Grades 8-9 to Earn Spots for Advanced MLB-led Development Programs

From Late March through May, Tour Will Appear in 18 U.S. Cities Across the United States

     Major League Baseball is launching its 18-stop “Identification Tour” (ID Tour) in 18 cities across the United States to discover baseball talent among underexposed groups, particularly African American and Latino athletes, in grades 8-9. The goal of the MLB ID Tour is to give talented athletes, whether they regularly play baseball or not, the opportunity to attend future baseball development programs by MLB & USA Baseball, such as the Breakthrough SeriesDREAM Series or Hank Aaron Invitational (**also in collaboration with the MLBPA) many of which will be held later in the year and in 2024 at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Florida.

     The 18-city ID Tour and the associated dates (subject to change) are as following – exact location will be announced separately:

  • March 25 – Oakland, CA
  • March 26 – San Bernardino, CA
  • April 1 – Detroit, MI
  • April 2 – Gary, IN
  • April 8 – Chicago, IL
  • April 9 – St. Louis, MO
  • April 15 – Tuscaloosa, AL
  • April 16 – Greenville, SC
  • April 22 – Little Rock, AR
  • April 23 – Nashville, TN
  • April 29 – Baton Rouge, LA
  • April 30 – Houston, TX
  • May 6 – Tallahassee, FL
  • May 7 – Tampa, FL
  • May 13 – Baltimore, MD
  • May 14 – Philadelphia, PA
  • May 20 – Passaic, NJ
  • May 21 – Bronx, NY

     The MLB ID Tour launched as a pilot program in 2018 within select cities, and has increased in locations each year.  The 2023 effort represents the first full-fledged, cross-country ID Tour. Alumni of the program who attended various development events and are now playing college baseball include:

  • Tyler Roche, St. John’s University

o   2018 ID Tour in Bronx, NY

o   Alumnus of the Hank Aaron Invitational (2018 & 2019), Breakthrough Series (2018 & 2019), and DREAM Series (2019)

  •  Jaden Woods, University of Georgia

o   2019 ID Tour in Macon, GA

o   Alumnus of Breakthrough Series (2019), States Play (2019) and DREAM Series (2020)

  • Robert Evans, Chipola Community College

o   2019 ID Tour in Bronx, NY

o   Alumnus of the Hank Aaron Invitational (2019), Breakthrough Series (2019 & 2021) and the DREAM Series (2020 & 2021)

  • Gabe Starks, University of Texas Arlington

o   2019 ID Tour in Pine Bluff, AR

o   Alumnus of the Breakthrough Series (2019) and DREAM Series (2020)

     MLB’s youth outreach and Baseball Development programming has helped advance hundreds of young players of color, primarily African American youth, to both professional & collegiate baseball. Overall, more than 635 MLB Develops program alumni played college baseball, with approximately 90% of this group is Black (570 players). 95% of all baseball development event participants (e.g., Hank Aaron Invitational, DREAM Series and Breakthrough Series) who have graduated high school have played baseball at the college or professional levels and/or attended college. More than 240 alumni of MLB-led baseball programming – Hank Aaron Invitational, DREAM Series, Breakthrough Series – have been drafted since 2015.

     In the 2022 MLB Draft, Black players made up four of the first five selections for the first time in Draft history, with all four players being alumni of the DREAM Series. In addition, six of the first 18 picks were Black (33.0%), with all being alumni of MLB Development programming. Nine players in the first round were Black (30.0%), the most by total and percentage since 1992 when 10 of the 28 first round selections were Black (35.7%). Overall, 12 in the opening round were Black or Latino (40.0%).

Families interested in the MLB ID Tour can visit www.PlayBall.org for more information.

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