‘‘The talent that we’re seeing now, we will likely see it knock on the doors of the major leagues in the next four to six years,’’ said Lucy Batista, the school’s headmaster.
Correa’s achievement also has stirred interest in recreational baseball players across Puerto Rico, with teams in some towns being forced to wait in line to play at public fields. Using Correa’s popularity as a platform, MLB plans to start tournaments and after-school programs across the island to further stimulate interest in the sport, said Kim Ng, the organization’s senior vice president for baseball operations.
‘‘I think that we’re on the upswing there,’’ she said. ‘‘Carlos Correa being the first pick in the draft this past year is more indicative of what’s going on in Puerto Rico, and I think it has to a certain extent reinvigorated the game down there.’’
The importance of local academies is key. Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Hiram Burgos said he enrolled in the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in 10th grade and graduated in 2005.
‘‘I developed immensely,’’ he said of his time there. ‘‘I added almost 10 miles to my speed as a pitcher.’’
Rodriguez, the former Marlins manager, said he anticipates a spike in talented baseball players from Puerto Rico in the next 10 to 15 years, thanks to the academies. And while he believes that another Clemente could be in the works, he warned against expectations that Puerto Rico would see a second golden era.
‘‘It’s not fair to compare what’s happening now to the time of the Roberto Alomars, Carlos Baergas,’’ he said. ‘‘That was a cycle. It is very, very rare for that to happen, not only in Puerto Rico, but in any state in the United States.’’
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.