The US is buzzing about the World Series right now, and even here in Latin America there is excitement especially in Venezuela and the Caribbean to cheer on the great players. Given our significant interest to highlight Latinos qualities and success, even though it may seem like it, baseball is not completely out of the question even for LatAm Connex this October when talking about Latino talent. After all, it makes us proud to cheer on Latino accomplishments in whatever field they are in!
The Kansas City Royals are a great example, the “underdog” team that is making headlines with its surprise participation in this year’s World Series. The Royals have various exceptional Latino players that are helping the team to be very successful.
And it’s not only the Royals who are advancing greatly with Latinos. The San Francisco Giants, as well, have such beloved players as “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval who are helping to lead them to victory.
But Latinos weren’t always on the Major League US baseball field. Let’s take the Kansas City Royals as an example. In the 1970’s, they built a Baseball Academy in Florida as an attempt to find quality athletes without much baseball
experience, with the purpose to train them to become baseball players.
The players lived and trained at the academy and played games in the Gulf Coast League. The best players would then move on up through the Royals’ minor league system. They used the academy and traded for talented young players because it was another way to find baseball talent.
However, in the 1990’s and the 2000’s, there still wasn’t much Latino talent or players that made a big impact. Go through the Royals’ rosters of the 1990’s and 2000’s, and you’ll find very few Latin players of impact. The one major success story was Carlos Beltran, drafted in the second round out of Puerto Rico in 1995.
Fast forward to 2014, however, and finding quality players in Latin America is what has made the big impact for the Royals, and taken them all the way to the World Series.
The Royals now have an important Latino presence, led by three homegrown players: catcher Salvador Perez, signed out of Venezuela in 2006; Dominican reliever Kelvin Herrera, also signed in 2006, another short right-hander, missed nearly two full years of minor league action with elbow problems, but has remained healthy since moving to the bullpen in 2011 and has maintained his 100-mph velocity; and starter Yordano Ventura, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, signed for $28,000 as a skinny teenager who threw in the upper 80s, is a classic scouting story. None of the three are even 25.
And the Royals have continued to invest in Latin America. Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, son of former major leaguer Raul, was signed for a $2 million bonus in 2011. Outfielder Elier Hernandez, signed the same year for $3 million, another example of the Royals spending money for Latino prospects.
The quality of talent present in Latin America cannot only be restricted to the baseball area. As we here at LatAm Connex know, more and more companies from the US are getting interested in the Latino talent in the IT industry every day.
Not only because the price from hiring them is more attractive than getting a local, but also because the competitiveness and preparation from these countries is rapidly developing to fulfil needs from first world countries, and the affinity with the countries is so much more than to Asian countries that also offer attractive prices.
We are very confident that this is the new wave of opportunity for US IT companies to lowe their bottom line and greatly raise their productivity, just as the Kansas City Royals and SF Giants have done in baseball. Is just matter of opening the possibilities of the professionals and helping them finding these opportunities in Latin America, and offering these amazing peoples’ profiles to the companies that are already adopting this working model of outsourcing Latino talent in the US.
This is what we work tirelessly for every day.
And as far as the World Series, Go Royals, go Giants, and may the best team win!