Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced “The Program,” a new baseball development initiative to give diverse student-athletes an opportunity to train together and demonstrate their elite-level abilities in premier tournaments. For one month (mid-June to August), 32 players from the graduating classes of 2025 and 2026 across the United States will train at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex (JRTC) in Vero Beach, FL and compete in travel baseball tournaments, with both college recruiters and professional scouts in attendance. Uniquely, the group will be coached by former Major & Minor League players who are also part of MLB & USA Baseball’s Development programming, including the Breakthrough Series and DREAM Series.
The Program is inspired by the “Royals Baseball Academy,” which operated in the 1970s as a player development system and produced Major Leaguers such as Ron Washington, Frank White and U L Washington. Coaches for The Program will include former Big Leaguers, including Marquis Grissom, Lou Collier, Marvin Freeman and Brian Hunter. Additionally, the squad will be coached by Morehouse College Head Baseball Coach Antonio Grissom and Team USA World Baseball Classic coach Carlos Muñoz. Former Major League Manager/Player and current Youth Development consultant for MLB Jerry Manuel also will be part of The Program staff.
The schedule for The Program participants includes the following:
“The Program is the next step in the evolution of our efforts to improve diverse representation in our game,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball. “We hope this is both a transformative experience for these student-athletes as well as an opportunity for them to climb up the radar of scouts at the professional and collegiate levels. We appreciate these young men and their families for their commitment to this special opportunity and our sport.”