ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Kannapolis Intimidators have agreed to a four-year extension of the team's Player Development Contract with the Chicago White Sox, keeping the Intimidators as the Class A affiliate of the White Sox through the 2018 season. The announcement came during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. The Intimidators have been producing Pale Hose prospects since 2001, the third-longest current affiliation with a Major League club in the South Atlantic League.
"The White Sox have been a tremendous affiliate for more than a decade," said Intimidators General Manager Randy Long. "We have seen so many talented White Sox prospects develop here in Kannapolis, and we look forward to continuing this partnership."
Since becoming a White Sox affiliate in 2001, the Intimidators have seen 52 players go from Kannapolis to the Major Leagues, including the 2009 Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year Gordon Beckham. Pitcher Addison Reed went from Kannapolis to the Major Leagues during the 2011 campaign -- joining Daniel Hudson as the second Sox prospect to make the four-level jump in one season since 2009. This past season, a franchise record eight former Intimidators made their Major League debuts, all for Chicago. The Intimidators won their only South Atlantic League championship in 2005, the same season the White Sox won the World Series, becoming the most recent South Atlantic League team to win a title in the season year as their Major League affiliate.
"Maintaining continuity and stability is one of our main goals in the player development system, and extending our affiliation with Kannapolis is a big part of that goal," said Buddy Bell, White Sox vice president/assistant general manager. "Over the past 13 seasons, we have developed great working relationships with the Kannapolis front office and community, and we look forward to building on that foundation for at least the next five years."
Kannapolis and Chicago last extended their PDC during the 2010 season, at the time extending their agreement through 2014. The only two South Atlantic League teams with longer-running MLB affiliations are the Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies, 1995) and the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles, 1997).
Prior to becoming the Intimidators, the franchise was known as the Piedmont Boll Weevils and served as the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1995-2000 after the Spartanburg Phillies relocated to Kannapolis. The Phillies have maintained a South Atlantic League affiliation with the Lakewood BlueClaws since 2001.
The Kannapolis Intimidators are preparing for the team's 20th season of professional baseball in our community and 14th as the Class A Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Intimidators play at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, located off I-85 at exit 63. Season tickets for 2014 are now available by calling the F&M Bank Box Office at (704) 932-3267. For ticket and promotional information, please visit IntimidatorsBaseball.com.