Friday, February 26, 2016

Quick Hit: The Venezuelan Summer League Has Officially Shut Down

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I am just that this week, especially if you are a fan of prospects and summer league baseball, specifically the Venezuelan Summer League. While much of the focus is on the Dominican Summer League there have been successes in the VSL until it began to die down over recent years. The VSL will no longer open its doors in 2016 after the league fell to just four teams in 2015.

The four teams that were left in the VSL when the announcement was made were the Cubs, Phillies, Rays and Tigers. The Cubs announced their decision to pull out of the Venezuelan Summer League leading the league to completely shut down. Whether the ultimate decision to close down the VSL came down to the safety of their players and the league or if it came down to political reasons (like the potential of a Cuban Summer League for example) we will probably never know but while the country is stocked full of MLB caliber talent it is also a country that is currently in turmoil.

The VSL was the beginning of the road for more than a few Major League players including Avisail Garcia, Eugenio Suarez, Dixon Machado, Bruce Rondon, Jose Ortega and Jose Altuve most notably. At this point ten seasons ago a whopping 11 organizations had a team in the VSL so it's not out of the realm of possibilities of MLB returning to the country but presumably a lot will have to change both politically and socially in the country before it does.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)