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As a talent developer, José Daniel Ozuna “JD” hit a grand slam in 2019 by signing Robert Puasón for US$5.1 million with the Atléticos and for the market that opens on January 15, he projects a stick away similar with prospect Felin Celesten.

But 2020 and 2021 were not so fruitful measured by the signings, although he had talent in his Ozuna Baseball Factory Academy, which convinced JD of the need to knock on doors in other markets to expand the range of opportunities and he is already reaping the fruits. With bright prospects.

Ozuna will present this Thursday the talent of his program to at least five teams from the South Korean professional league (KBO), which he hopes will further increase the interest of Asian clubs for those Dominican diamonds that have not yet reached the professional level.

The visit of the South Korean teams comes after Ozuna managed to close four agreements with young Creoles for Japanese baseball, a material in the orbit of the teams of the MLBbut that offers from the Far East were better.

The most recent was the right-hander Luis Manuel Rodríguez, a 20-year-old nagüero with a fastball that averages 98 miles and that in the presentations to the Japanese reached 100 mph. He signed for a US$600,000 bonus with the Soft Bank Hawks at an age “doomed” to receive five figures from the teams in the MLB.

Dominican pitching trio recruited by the Soft Bank Hawks through JD Ozuna. (EXTERNAL SOURCE)

“I want the boys to understand that they do not have to give up, that it does not matter how old they are, even if it is 5 thousand, 10 thousand dollars, whatever, that they continue fighting because God will send them to you when he understands” says Ozuna, on the phone with DL from Boca Chica. “That boy continued playing in academies, basically he was with Felito Cueto, he shot 94-96, once they don’t pass them he goes up to 98, but the calm, the confidence, the preparation, almost certainly, the pressures were gone, he released several balls to 100 miles, that kid never gave up, he always kept trying to get in for 20, 25, 30.”

Before Rodríguez, he also signed Mailon Félix, Frankely Geraldino ($400,000) and Marco Simón ($450,000), also for the Halcones in the Nippon Baseball League.

“We are working on it, one of the things I am trying to do is continue opening that door for the Japanese, to have more options in Latin America, I would like that, just like the MLB has its organizations and its office in the DR, I also dream that Japan makes its investment, that each organization has a headquarters here, with its office of NPBIt’s something I’ve been fighting for for a while and it’s been happening,” Ozuna said.

Graduated in Social Communication from the O&M University. He has been a sports journalist since 2001.

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