Ballplayer: Pelotero — The Little Documentary That Could. And Did!

Ballplayer: Pelotero, a new feature-length sports documentary shot on Panasonic P2 HD handheld camcorders, got extremely lucky on Friday the 13th when it sold out its premieres in nine major market theaters, this after having been chosen a Critic’s Pick by both The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Executive produced by Red Sox General Manager Bobby Valentine and narrated by actor/writer John Leguizamo, Ballplayer: Pelotero reflects the passion for baseball of its young creators, filmmakers Jon Paley, Ross Finkel and Trevor Martin, who share the directing credit on the project. The documentary offers a stark glimpse into the world of big league recruiting in the Dominican Republic. Beyond its theatrical release, Ballplayer: Pelotero is also available On-Demand and online via iTunes and Amazon.

Chronicling teenagers Miguel Angel Sano and Jean Carlos Batista, two of the top prospects in the Dominican Republic, the documentary follows these “peloteros” as they approach age 16, when they become eligible to sign professional baseball contracts. The film provides an intimate portrait of the boys as they navigate the calculating, mercenary and often corrupt elements that surround big league recruitment of the island’s top talent.

Paley, Finkel and Martin, partners in Guagua Productions (New York, NY), have already begun shooting the sequel, an in-depth portrait of current Minnesota Twins organization player Sano, with the AG-HPX250, Panasonic’s first P2 HD handheld with AVC-Intra 4:2:2 10-bit recording. Ballplayer: Pelotero was shot with a predecessor model, the AG-HVX200 P2 HD handheld.

The team needed an additional camera for the sequel, and decided to amplify their handheld shooting with the HPX250.

“It’s a beefed up version of the HVX200 and we love it,” Jon said. “We already knew the ergonomics inside and out, and we love the HPX250’s crisper, longer lens, the better depth of field and the outstanding color quality.

“Visually, Ballplayer: Pelotero was a beautiful project to shoot, especially with the contrast of the blue sky and the green fields. Fundamentally, we chose P2 HD camcorders because of the great color palette.”

The P2 card recording capability also proved essential on location. “I once lost a full day’s worth of footage because my external recorder overheated,” Jon said. “P2 makes us much more mobile, it’s more reliable, and now with the HPX250’s 10-bit recording, I don’t even need to consider outboard recording.”

Jon estimates that Guagua Productions, specializing in shooting short films and commercials, has used the P2 HD handhelds on close to 100 projects overall. “The Panasonic P2 camcorders are ultra-reliable,” he said. “We know when we walk out the door that they will excel on challenging shoots and produce amazing footage.”

For more information about Ballplayer: Pelotero, visit

For more information about Guagua Productions, visit

For more information on the HPX250 visit

Read the rest of our AG-HPX250 Behind the Camera Series here.