Spring training has begun for all 14 teams in the Frontier League. This year, 34 players were given spring training contracts after being selected in the 2015 draft. The draft was held on April 28th after the two day, league-wide tryouts took place in Avon, OH – Home of the Lake Erie Crushers. Each team had to select at least two players in the draft; However, those players are only guaranteed a spot in spring training and do not have to be signed to the main roster.
This season’s draft was dominated by pitchers and catchers. Of the 34 players selected, 22 are pitchers and 8 are catchers. The draft is highlighted by the first overall pick, Robert Stock, who was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and played in their organization until last year, reaching High A Palm Beach. Stock, who is 25, will head to spring training with the Normal Cornbelters to try to continue his professional baseball career.
According to my research through Baseball Reference pages, 12 players have affiliated experience and 10 more have independent experience. The remaining 12 are recent (2014 or 2015) college graduates.
You can view the entire 2015 draft results HERE.
Frontier League spring training rosters are already carrying a lot of excess players. Exhibition games begin on May 2nd, and all rosters must be cut down to 24 players maximum before the regular season which begins on May 14th. It should be interesting to see how many players break camp with their respective teams in 2015.
According to the Frontier League website:
Over 400 players participated in the 2014 Tryout Camp, with 180 invited back for the second day. Each year, at least one tryout camp participant has appeared in the Frontier League’s All-Star Game. Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, including RHP Chris Jakubauskas who appeared in 69 MLB games (including 15 starts) over five seasons.
Nine tryout attendees have been signed by MLB clubs during the season over the past three years.
“The Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft is the best way for a player to showcase himself so he can begin or continue his career in professional baseball,” commented Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee. “Our clubs take the workouts very seriously, and each year multiple attendees wind up making key contributions to playoff teams.”
My goal is to write a follow up blog highlighting which players broke camp with a team, and I will continue following those players throughout the season.
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