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Cast: Jean Carlos Batista, Miguel Angel Sano, John Leguizamo
The Dominican Republic has long served as a key supplier of major-league baseball players, and the documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the remarkably organized and well-managed system that has produced an inordinate amount of elite athletes.
The film’s two mainstays are a pair of young prospects who are approaching age 16, the minimum age at which they can sign a professional contract. Ballplayer: Pelotero doesn’t sugarcoat the obstacles and difficult paths these athletic dreamers encounter routinely, instead choosing to portray their struggles in their pursuit of a dream that could potentially impact every aspect of both their lives as well as their families.
Dominican officials gave unprecedented access to the filmmakers, with the results being a gritty and compelling documentary that peels back the curtain on the notoriously rarely-seen baseball “factories.”