Pelotero

Pelotero

Directed by: Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin, Jonathan Paley
73 minutes

New England Premiere

Spanish with English subtitles


Folks in the Dominican Republic love baseball, and apparently a lot of them are good at it, too: despite the fact that the DR’s population is merely one-thirtieth the size of the United States’, more than 10% of last season’s Major League players were born in there. The ranks of Dominican-born players include plenty of recent and current big-name stars, such as David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Sammy Sosa, Jose Reyes, and Albert Pujols.

Given these highly visible success stories from an otherwise impoverished nation, it’s not surprising that many Dominican teens (and their families) see a baseball career as their best chance for material success. Conversely, the number of great players the nation has produced naturally prompts Major League teams to invest heavily in scouting and signing promising young prospects there; if even one of these players blossoms into a star, it will be time and money well spent for the franchise.

Jean Carlos Batista and Miguel Angel Sano are two of these ballplayers, or peloteros. This film follows their respective attempts to navigate the final few months leading up to their hoped-for contracts with Major League teams. Surrounded by relatives who depend on them—and agents, trainers, and team representatives who hope to profit from them—both of these young men must step carefully to avoid the snares of incipient wealth and celebrity.

—Kyle Parrish