With names like Andy Marte and Rafael Perez on the Columbus Clippers' active roster, a movie like Sugar should hit close to home.

With names like Andy Marte and Rafael Perez on the Columbus Clippers' active roster, a movie like Sugar should hit close to home.

The second feature from writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) follows a Dominican pitcher on an odyssey through the major league farm system, and while it doesn't play like other baseball movies, it expresses a deep, memorable love of the game.

At the Dominican training camp for a Kansas City club, Miguel "Sugar" Santos is groomed for a move Stateside and flush with an American dream of playing Yankee Stadium.

But a move to the club's single-A team in Iowa and the farm of an elderly, baseball-loving couple throws him for a loop. Taught just enough English to call a home run, he's lost in a new culture and feeling the heavy weight of responsibility for his family's income

Sugar doesn't flinch from the Darwinian aspects of the game, where a few off performances can end a young career. It also dares you not to keep rooting for its sweet protagonist, beautifully realized by Algenis Perez Soto. No matter what, he's a winner.