FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2013) – Fort Myers-based Carrera Sports, a company dedicated to producing professional grade baseball bats for professionals and amateurs, has signed as a sponsor for the 2013 Spring Training season at JetBlue Park at Fenway South.

Robert Coello, relief pitcher for Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels, launched the company in early 2012 with his sister and long-time Ft. Myers resident, Barbara Rodriguez, who serves as Chief Executive Officer at the company’s Lee County headquarters.

In the past year, Carrera’s sales have grown rapidly. The company recently signed with Venezuela sports company, Columbus Sport 99, to produce 4,000 youth aluminum Carrera bats and 17,000 dozen baseballs for the company’s international division. As per the agreement, Columbus Sport 99 will be the exclusive distributor of Carrera Sports International products in Venezuela for the next three years.

As a part of their Spring Training sponsorship, Carrera will have signage at Fenway South.

“We are very excited to be a part of this year’s Spring Training with the Boston Red Sox,” said Rodriguez. “My brother started his major league career with the Red Sox and having our company headquartered in the same town where they train each spring this was a natural sponsorship for us.”

According to Rodriguez, Carrera bats are in batting cages at all levels of play. The products are made for anyone who is serious about the game, from high school players to professionals, and the company is dedicated to delivering the same quality products used by professionals around the globe.

“If a professional can use a great quality product, so can anyone at any level,” she said.

All Carrera products are made and approved by professional players. A number of minor league players used Carrera’s products during the 2012 Spring Training season. Currently, Yankee’s first round draft pick Cito Culver, Red Sox rookie Miguel Rodriguez and Oakland A’s rookie B.J. Boyd have all signed exclusive contracts with Carrera.

“Our Carrera training bats are catching on like fire with major league batting coaches who are using youth bats to train and practice,” said Coello.

Carrera uses only high-density maple billets, responsibly cut from the forests of the northern Appalachian region on into Canada. The colder climate of these regions allows the trees to grow at higher densities, which eventually provide a stronger bat. All of the bats are handcrafted in New York by professional woodcrafters that have over 100 years of combined experience.

Carrera is also able to handcraft custom bats based to specifications.

“All of our wood bats are made in the United States,” said Rodriguez. “They are also ink dot tested to guarantee the finest professional grade wood and allow for great balance, unbelievable pop and great results.”

Coello conceived the idea for Carrera Sports after years of experiencing multiple manufacturers’ products.

“I wanted to give the players of tomorrow a way to experience and train with professional products today at a reasonable price,” he said.

Originally from Cuba, Coello’s family moved to Winter Haven, Florida before he was born. He attended Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake, Florida and Northwest Florida State College before being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round of the 2004 MLB draft. After playing for Edmonton of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2008, he signed with the Red Sox organization for the 2009 season. Coello made his major league debut September 2010 with Boston and had a 4.76 ERA in six relief outings. On December 9, 2011, Coello signed a major league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has signed with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2013 season.

The owners chose the name Carrera due to its Spanish translation, which means “runs scored”.

Carrera Sports has already sold more than a thousand wood bats across the country and currently has six employees in addition to six sales representatives outside of Florida.

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Barbara Rodriguez