As baseball fans watched a thrilling World Series this week, you can bet that Alejandro De Moya had this in mind when he tuned in: how young Latin ballplayers his team recruits and develops might one day help his Cleveland Indians win a World Series.
De Moya, a southpaw for the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish from 2010 to 2013, is now the Indians’ assistant director for Latin American scouting and player development. And he loves it.
“I wake up every day with a smile on my face, thankful that I get to do this,” he said.
It’s like a dream come true for a Dominican Republic kid whose grandfather regaled him with exciting tales of Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams. “I started playing really young,” said De Moya, “and never looked back.”
During his high school years De Moya was named 2008 and 2009 Pitcher of the Year for the RBI Santo Domingo League. He had a chance to play college ball at several U.S. schools, including some in northern states, but Palm Beach Atlantic had the greatest appeal.
“PBA presented a small school environment, which I really preferred,” he said. It also was just a two-hour plane ride from home, with warm weather similar to that in the D.R., so De Moya headed to West Palm Beach.
He pitched for the Sailfish all four years, fine-tuning a mean changeup and loving the camaraderie on and off the field. “And playing for Gary Carter was definitely an honor,” he said. Carter, Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, was head coach for PBA for two-plus seasons before his death to cancer in 2012.
De Moya began working toward a double major in management and marketing. That called for a heavy course load, made even tougher by the demands of varsity baseball. “But it really helped me with time management skills,” he said. “When I graduated and began my professional career it helped me find it easier to manage that type of schedule.”
Professor of Management Dr. David Smith, his advisor, “was a great support,” De Moya said. Smith helped him navigate his course schedule and arrange an internship to combine De Moya’s business education with his love for baseball.
The Rinker School of Business requires students to serve internships that are directly linked to a structured internship course, to help students get the most from that on-the-job experience. De Moya secured a summer internship in the Dominican Republic, working for the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
De Moya landed a second MLB internship right after he graduated from PBA in 2013. “That got my foot in the door” for a career in baseball, he said.
The internships led to two full-time jobs with MLB. With that experience, plus his double major from business school and his Spanish/English skills, in 2016 De Moya snagged the job of manager of Latin American Baseball Operations with the Cleveland Indians. In February 2019 he was promoted to his current job, working in his home country and traveling throughout Latin America.
Now he helps coordinate the Indians’ activities to recruit and develop players from that region. “I get to work with a fantastic group of people,” he said. “And we get to create relationships and impact potential future players and their families while doing what we love.”
De Moya looks back fondly to his PBA years, and visits West Palm Beach when he can. He stays in touch with Dr. Bernie Cueto, campus pastor and now vice president for spiritual development.
“On the spiritual side, Pastor Bernie has been a tremendous influence for me,” De Moya said. “The way he has about preaching the Word and adding humor just made me pay more attention to it. Ultimately everything at PBA revolves around our Christian faith, which definitely got me closer to God.”
Cueto recalled when his son began playing baseball and De Moya visited a practice, bringing along several Sailfish teammates to give baseball tips to the youngsters. “And for them to learn how to pitch from a Dominican sharpshooter, that was a highlight for all those kids,” said Cueto. “It was just neat to see Alejandro using his gifts to bless other people, to encourage, to give back to the community. And to see that he’s still using those gifts, to benefit athletes, especially in the Dominican Republic, caring for the poor communities there, it really is an awesome thing to see.”
Photo 1: Alejandro De Moya was a left-handed pitcher for the Sailfish from 2010 to 2013. Here he is on the mound.
Photo 2: Alejandro De Moya's head shot when he played for the Sailfish under former Head Coach Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.
Photo 3: Alejandro De Moya is on the job as assistant director for Latin American scouting and player development for the Cleveland Indians.