Ballplayer: Pelotero (2012)

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Critic Consensus: Gripping and surprisingly nuanced, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a frank exploration of the nature of corruption in baseball recruitment.

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This compelling documentary, narrated by John Leguizamo and executive produced by Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, is a gritty and never before seen look inside the world of Major League Baseball (MLB) training camps in the Dominican Republic. Miguel Angel and Jean Carlos are two of the top prospects and they are both about to turn 16, which means they can be signed to an MLB farm team and ultimately move up to the majors. Ballplayer: Pelotero filmmakers Ross Finkel, Trevor Martin and Jonathan Paley take you inside this never before seen world for an up close and personal look at the cost of the American dream. -- (C) Strand

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Critic Reviews for Ballplayer: Pelotero

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (16)

While riveting to watch... it's actually quite sad and even enraging to watch what plays out like a form of modern day slavery.

May 30, 2018 | Full Review…

[The] Directors...try to soften...ugly truths with sentimental stories of teenagers getting signed and pulling their families out of poverty, but the portrait of widespread exploitation overwhelms the intended effect...[ END HERE ]of these subplots

Aug 9, 2012 | Full Review…

It's an eye-opening look at a flawed, potentially exploitative system and how it is being gamed from all sides of the table -- the story of the collision of youthful dreams and a cutthroat adult cartel.

Jul 16, 2012 | Full Review…

Hard-hitting sports doc examines the darker side of the recruitment of young baseball players in the Dominican Republic for the major leagues.

Jul 13, 2012 | Full Review…

What gives Pelotero its edge is a nexus of corruption, exploitation and betrayal that transforms this well-shot, cannily edited item into an engrossing expose.

Jul 13, 2012 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

The next time I see some superstar athlete giving an interview that suggests the absence of a functioning soul, I'll think of the two tense, joyless boys at the center of this quietly devastating documentary.

Jul 13, 2012 | Full Review…

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