If you’re a prospective independent league player, don’t be shocked if you’re banned from playing in the Pecos League.
Although there’s been a rule against winter league participation for the last few years, more and more players are emailing me complaining or confused about not being eligible for the Pecos League. This is mainly because the rule isn’t actually listed anywhere that is easily accessible to players looking for information.
In fact, their tryout page says that “any player who is not currently under contract with another Professional Baseball Team may tryout.” However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
In September of 2014, the Pecos League put out a press release that warned players about playing in any winter league that was not affiliated with the Pecos.
9/4/2014– The Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs will not accept players from any winter league. This list includes (California Winter League, Arizona Winter League, Myrtle Beach Winter and Texas Winter League). These leagues are setup to profit off of the players and if you think you are going to get signed out of one of these leagues you should look at the facts. Some of these leagues will get you in Spring Training with a team but you actually are hurting your chances of playing professional baseball by going to these leagues.
The Pecos League only signs players from its tryouts and its Pecos Spring League…
The Pecos League is the place for rookies with no prior professional experience to break in. The only developmental league that the Pecos League will consider players from is Pecos Spring League. There are no guarantees that you will make a team or a spring training spot. But you will have the highest percentage opportunity. If someone is attempting to take money from you for a winter league then it would be wise to ask them what jobs they have for you if you attend the league. Jobs are paying jobs not Spring Training Invites where you will be released.
As of this year, you can add the Puerto Rico Instructional Baseball League to this list of “banned” winter leagues as well. Players who participated in this league have been emailing the site to say that they were informed that they are no longer eligible to play in the Pecos.
The rules put in place ensure that all potential players must either:
- have a recommendation from anyone NOT directly involved from playing in a winter league
- pay to play in the Pecos Fall or Spring leagues
- attend an official Pecos League tryout ($50)
- or pay the league $300 for a guaranteed three day spring training.
What this really boils down to is… if you didn’t give the Pecos League any of your money over the off season, then they’re not willing to pay you $55 a week to play for them.
Is spending $1,250-$2,500 for the fall or spring league worth it?
You can do the math (the regular season runs for about 11 weeks)… but ultimately, it’s up to the players to decide if the potential exposure from playing and getting ABs or IPs is worth it to them.