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Josh Outman
A hothouse for baseball
A hothouse for baseball

SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS, Dominican Republic — The lanky 15-year-old and I didn't share a full language, but on a breezy, balmy November night, we shared at least two words. “Junior Lake?” I asked of the man in the home team's batting cage, preparing for that night's game by snapping his hips into pitch after pitch. Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! “Si,” the boy said, and smiled. Thwack! Thwack! I was familiar with Lake as a solidly built, 22-year-old up-and-comer in the Chicago Cubs' minor league system. The boy, Ambiorix, knew Lake as a local guy who played for the local team: Estrellas Orientales, San Pedro's squad in the Dominican...

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