Niles, Ohio – Major League Baseball (MLB) and Prep Baseball Report (PBR) have announced the formation of the MLB Draft League beginning in the 2021 season. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will remain affiliated with MLB under the long term partnership. The league will focus on top college level prospects who
Niles, Ohio – Major League Baseball (MLB) and Prep Baseball Report (PBR) have announced the formation of the MLB Draft League beginning in the 2021 season. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will remain affiliated with MLB under the long term partnership. The league will focus on top college level prospects who are eligible to be drafted that summer by MLB teams. The partnership preserves high level baseball in the Mahoning Valley for years to come.
The founding members of the MLB Draft League will be the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, Williamsport Crosscutters and Trenton Thunder. The League is in advanced discussions with a sixth team and hopes to announce in the coming weeks. Jordan Taylor, HWS Baseball Vice President and General Manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers stated, "we appreciate the opportunity to continue our affiliation with Major League Baseball in the brand new MLB Draft League. This exciting new venture will allow Scrappers fans the opportunity to see the best current Major League Baseball draft prospects at Eastwood Field. The partnership will ensure our community will get the opportunity to watch the future stars of Major League Baseball for years to come."
MLB Draft League participants will receive unprecedented visibility to MLB club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology along with educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes. PBR will provide support for the league’s staffing, player and coach recruitment, on-field operations and administrative functions. PBR will also use their media and technology platforms to promote the league and its players throughout the season. Plans include a 68-game regular season with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft.
Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics and Operations said, “We are thrilled to partner with Prep Baseball Report and the founding members of the MLB Draft League to create a one-of-a-kind league that will attract the nation’s top players who are eligible for each year’s MLB Draft and allow local fans to see top prospects and future big-league stars in their hometowns. This announcement continues MLB’s commitment to preserving and growing baseball in communities around the United States.”
Quotes on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers joining the MLB Draft League:
Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio:
“I am thrilled that future Major Leaguers will continue to play in the Mahoning Valley for years to come. MLB’s long-commitment to high-quality baseball in the Mahoning Valley is a testament to what the Scrappers have built, from their management to their facilities, and, most of all, the historic support of fans in the Youngstown-Warren area.”
United States Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio:
”So many of us have fought hard to protect the Mahoning Valley Scrappers because the team represents so much of what makes the Valley great — grit, determination and the ability to overcome adversity no matter the odds. I’m glad that MLB listened. The formation of the MLB Draft League is good news for baseball and for fans in the Valley, who will get to continue to see high-level prospects in their own backyard and rally around the Scrappers again soon.”
United States Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio:
“After many months of calls, letters, legislation, and tough discussions with Major League Baseball to ensure the Scrappers stay in the Mahoning Valley, I’m proud to say that this announcement will not only protect the Scrappers but add value to our community and local baseball fans. By showcasing the best draft-eligible talent in our nation, the Scrappers are poised to continue providing our community amazing entertainment for many years to come.”
Steve Mientkiewicz, Mayor, City of Niles:
"This is exciting news that will benefit the Niles community for years to come. The idea of pro-caliber baseball at an affordable price is a true asset to our families in not only Niles, but the Mahoning Valley as a whole."
Darlene St. George, Administrator, Howland Township:
"The fact that Major League Baseball affiliation will maintain a presence here, is great news for the Valley! Congratulations to the Scrappers for hitting a home run with this new deal. We have held season tickets from day one, and look forward to many more enjoyable evenings at Eastwood Field."
Guy Coviello, Foundation President, Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber:
"This is wonderful news for the community. Our analysis shows the Scrappers represent a $4.2 million annual economic impact on the Valley. We're proud to have been part of a well-organized effort to prove to Major League Baseball that the Youngstown-Warren region provides an excellent market for their product."