MLB to launch Amateur Prospect League in Nicaragua

North America’s Major League Baseball (MLB) is set to launch an Amateur Prospect League in Nicaragua, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Due to open this weekend, the new league will feature two teams that will play each other every Saturday through to July 4 before a fall season commences in September. 

The teams will feature players both currently eligible to be signed and those eligible in the draft period, which is due to begin on July 2. A player who is not a resident of the US or Canada must be at least 17 to be eligible during a signing period or turn 17 by September 1 of the particular signing period.

The launch comes after MLB in March 2012 opened an Amateur Prospect League in the Dominican Republic, which, like Nicaragua, has a number of professionals playing in MLB.

Nicaragua currently has a total of 31 players that hold major or minor league contracts in the US. These include current MLB professionals J. C. Ramírez of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Everth Cabrera (pictured) of the Baltimore Orioles, Wilton López of the Toronto Blue Jays and Erasmo Ramírez of the Tampa Bay Rays.