Ballplayer: Pelotero

Film
3 out of 5 stars
Ballplayer: Pelotero

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This essential, if artless, baseball exposé uses the stories of two aspiring young Dominican players—shortstops Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista—to illuminate the shady economy of stateside training and selling of teens to become the next Big Papi or Robinson Canó. As recruitment from the island grows into a bigger business—10 percent of MLB players are now DR-born—corruption comes from every angle: Impoverished kids like Batista routinely lie about their age to increase their value, while scouts stoop to slanderous aspersions to drive prices down. For every future star, there are countless kids betrayed by opportunistic father figures and devastated by an unforgiving market. “At the end of the day,” one scout says of Batista, “he’s merchandise.”

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