Cubs finalizing plans on Dominican academy

Cubs finalizing plans on Dominican academy

CHICAGO -- Architects are finalizing details for the Cubs' new academy in the Dominican Republic, and groundbreaking was expected early in 2012.

"It is going to be something special," said player development director Oneri Fleita. "I hope guys like Starlin Castro, Carlos Marmol, and all our guys can call it home -- a place they want to train at in the winter.

"It'll be a place they can go and tell our young players and players soon to be Cubs down the road where we once were and where they are today -- and how proud they should be to be Cubs and be part of everything that [chairman] Tom [Ricketts] and his family are providing," Fleita said. "Their support has been energizing -- the word's probably invigorating. It's exciting."

The current academy can house 60 players in cramped quarters, and they have two fields to practice on. The new facility will handle 100 players and have four fields, plus batting cages.

"The place will be very similar to what we see in Spring Training," Fleita said. "We hope it's a place we can say is home and feels like home -- it feels like Chicago in the Dominican."