Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Astros have program to teach Latin players English, Astros tiene programa del ingles por peloteros Latinos

Like a number of MLB teams, the Astros have a program in place to help Latin players learn English and adjust to life in a new country.  Doris Gonzalez is the Astros coordinator of player acculturation and language development.  She works with Latin baseball players, but also Asian players.

The Astros are probably doing a better job than most teams at player acculturation and language development. Well, first they have someone tasked at directing this part of the organization.  Like most teams, they are offering language lessons at spring training.  But the Astros take it further, and give their minor league players these development opportunities throughout the season at every level.

New Astros general manger Jeff Luhnow was born in Mexico and is bilingual, so he has made this a major point of emphasis in the new look Astros plan.  He got the team together at spring training and had some veteran players talk about the importance of learning English and the culture of the United States.  Panamanian Carlos Lee talked about business opportunities that may not be available for players that do not speak English.  Cuban Livan Hernandez also spoke.

The Astros have some young Dominicans that will benefit from these cultural development programs.  Jimmy Paredes (Haina, Dominican Republic) and Fernando Abad (La Romana, DR) are two of the young Dominicans projected to be major contributors for the Astros this year.

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