The IMG Academy baseball program would like to congratulate cousins, Damaso and Paolo Espino on representing Panama in the World Baseball Classic. The two have close ties to the IMG Academy baseball program. Paolo attended the academy for 2 years during his junior and senior year of high school and was later selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of The IMG Academy School. Damaso has spent time training at the IMG Academy baseball program since 2001.
Both athletes are currently playing in the Cleveland Indians organization. Paolo finished the 2008 season with the Lake County Captains of the South Atlantic League while Damaso finished the 2008 season with the Akron Aeros of the Eastern League. This will be their second appearance since they played for Panama during the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Panama will compete in Pool D against the Dominican Republic, Kingdom of Netherlands, and Puerto Rico. Games will be played March 5th -12th in San Juan, Puerto Rico with two teams advancing from each Pool.
For more information on the Espino's: Click Here
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players - 235 of them from MLB organizations - representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games - 16 of which sold out - and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. Broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world, the inaugural tournament had 50 official sponsors and 21 official licensees. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The next tournament will be held in March 2009 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.