View Full Version : Danny Almonte to Play in Frontier League

03-30-2007, 05:49 AM
Danny Almonte, the Little League sensation of some years back, has signed to play with a Frontier League team. Here's a brief story from today's NY Times.

Almonte Chooses Frontier League Over College

Danny Almonte planned to graduate high school last year, then attend junior college in New Mexico. He had been bypassed in the major league draft in June and did not have the grades to play Division I college baseball.

But Almonte, 20, has struggled with controversy since 2001, when his eye-opening performance in the Little League World Series was erased because he was two years too old. He never graduated high school, did not enroll in college, and on Tuesday signed his first professional contract, with the Southern Illinois Miners in Marion, Ill., of the Frontier League.

Last July, Almonte moved to Florida to train, according to Mike Turo, the coach at James Monroe High School in Bronx. After flirting with attending another junior college, Almonte returned to the Bronx in November.

At that point, Turo said, Almonte planned on pitching at Queensboro Community College in Bayside. But those plans, like his previous ones, fell through as well.

Mike Pinto, the manager and director of baseball operations for the Miners, said he knew a scout that saw Almonte throw in Florida last fall.

“It initially started last October; there was still some question of whether he wanted to go to junior college in the spring,” Pinto said in a telephone interview. “I spoke to Danny a couple of times. I then spoke to his cousin, who helps him as an adviser, and that is where it took off from. We talked a few times, and by Thursday of last week we had the paperwork put together.”

The Frontier League is designed for younger players that had been passed over in the draft and were looking for a first chance, Pinto said. The quality of baseball is close to Class A ball, he added.

Frontier League teams cannot have any players over age 27, and 12 of the 24 players must be rookies.

Almonte, 20, will make $600 a month, Pinto said.

“I am shocked,” Turo said of Almonte’s decision Tuesday in a telephone interview. “I just wanted him to go to college and get out of here.” Referring to Almonte, Pinto said, “Obviously there are not a lot of young lefties that can throw 90 miles per hour, and a slider in the 80’s.”

“If he performs well,” Pinto said, “I can give his rights to any major league team at any point. That is what our league is built on. We are the first chance or the last chance. He might be able to go in the draft, but there is no chance unless he is able to show off his talent.”

03-30-2007, 06:14 AM
Danny Almonte, the Little League sensation

...or the cheater, whatever you like better. ;)

03-30-2007, 07:36 AM
...or the cheater, whatever you like better. ;)

Well, yes, but his first claim to fame was as a "sensation", but I should have noted his downfall violating the age rules. I suspect this kid has tragedy written all over him.

03-30-2007, 07:37 AM
...or the cheater, whatever you like better. ;)

Beat me to it.

03-30-2007, 07:38 AM
One question... is he too old for The Frontier League? ;)

03-30-2007, 08:02 AM
When this story first came on CNN they were talking about how he'll be rich rich rich now that's he playing in the Frontier League.

03-30-2007, 08:14 AM
I think he got an endorsement deal with AARP

Chip R
03-30-2007, 09:07 AM
I think he got an endorsement deal with AARP

You would know. :evil:

03-30-2007, 09:13 AM
Well, yes, but his first claim to fame was as a "sensation", but I should have noted his downfall violating the age rules. I suspect this kid has tragedy written all over him.

What happened to Almonte was not a tragedy. His life is in no way a tragedy.

He was taken advantage of at age 14. Who makes good decisions at age 14? That laid the foundation for more bad decisions. It can be a tough cycle to break, mostly because it takes a certain amount of maturity.

Any team can take this kid, but no one was willing to take the risk. The Frontier League is perfect for him in this regard. If he pitches well, someone will sign him.

03-30-2007, 07:20 PM
Southern Illiinois plays at the Florence Freedom from July 7-9, the Monday the 9th being a day game, I will prob go try to check him out its in my neck of the woods.

03-30-2007, 07:25 PM
Danny Almonte and Julio Franco grew up together in the Dominican. I believe it was Danny who turned Julio on to baseball as he was about 2 years older.

03-30-2007, 08:36 PM
Guys, gals and all those who question...remember.

Danny was the kid in this situation and his folks are the ones who got the ball rolling for him to lie when he was on that little league team...additionally didn't his coaches also play a hand in covering up his age?

Yes, he lied. He kept it going for a long time but he was led to do that by his folks and the people his folks put around him.

He's 20 now...hopefully he can be stronger character and develop his talent further.