With the players’ fees for the trip, a tryout with the Empire league, located around the northeast area of the United States, was included and optional for anyone playing in the PRIBL. We arrived to the field around 9 a.m. to take part in the tryout, and the weather was absolutely perfect. It was refreshing to be on a baseball field again, and there were about 40 participants in the tryout.
Among the coaches of the PRIBL team were several scouts that could sign players to leagues outside and within the United States. Francisco, a retired pitcher and current coach in Mexico, has the capability of signing players to professional contracts in Mexico. There’s also Juan, a player-coach originally from Germany with the power to sign players to European contracts. The president of the Empire League acted as the manager of the PRIBL Turistas throughout the game schedule.
It was a standard tryout with players running the 60-yard dash, hitting batting practice, taking ground balls and pitchers throwing bullpens. After players completed the different stations, everyone was split up into two teams to play a simulated game. I noticed from the very beginning that there were some extremely talented players taking part in the PRIBL. It was refreshing to throw to an actual catcher again, and the pitching coaches were able to tweak my mechanics slightly to enable me to throw with a little more velocity.