Unlike many countries in Latin America, baseball is not a big sport in El Salvador. Salvadorans follow NBA basketball much closer than major league baseball, and of course nothing approaches the passion for soccer (football). But there has been some increased interest in baseball in El Salvador since the late 1990's. Now the Miami Herald runs a story about the first Salvadoran player to sign a professional contract in the United States. He is Wilmer Villatoro, a right-handed pitcher playing in the San Diego Padres minor league organization. Since being signed he has reached the AA leval in the minor leagues.