From top to bottom, the 2013 First-Year Player Draft signaled another rousing success for Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academies. Five players with ties to the academies were drafted in the first two rounds, and several others will have a chance to play professionally.
Major League Baseball has followed up its most diverse draft in two decades with a fitting encore. Seven African-Americans were drafted in the first round in 2012, the most since 1992, and six more players of African-American descent were drafted in the first round Thursday.
Dominic Smith and J.P. Crawford are products of Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy and Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) initiatives, and now the close friends are on the path to becoming National League rivals.
J.P. Crawford and fellow prep star Dominic Smith represent the next wave of talent with ties to Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy. The duo, who trained at the UYA facility in Compton, Calif., credit the facility's help on their road to this year's First-Year Player Draft.