All posts by IndyBallIsland

31. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

The Frontier League is “Charting a New Frontier” This Season

Big changes are coming to the Frontier League this season.

New teams are finally getting a chance to debut in the Frontier League this year. Back in 2020 (before COVID canceled the season), the Frontier League merged with the CAN-AM League and announced that three new Canadian teams would be joining the Frontier. Then last year, travel restrictions forced the three teams to merge into one, Equipe Quebec, for the 2021 season.

With restrictions lifted, all three teams – Québec Capitales, the Trois-Rivières Aigles, and the Ottawa Titans – will be playing in the league this season.

Then in an unexpected turn of events, The Southern Illinois Miners owners ceased operations after 14 years. This forced the league to add a travel team, the Empire State Greys, that will be owned and operated by the Empire League.

Games will be broadcasted on a new platform this year. The league announced that they are making a switch over to FloSports for all Frontier League teams and games this season. Read the official press release HERE for more information on the new streaming deal.

The All-Star game will also return this year. The game will be held in Washington, PA with multi-day celebration that includes: a celebrity softball game (Saturday July 16th), IWC Pro Wrestling event (Sunday July 17th), the Eli Young Band in concert (Tuesday July 19th) and finally concluding with the All-Star game on Wednesday. For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the press release HERE.

In addition, BaseballCloud and Yakkertech will be providing player analytics. “[They] will work with the Frontier League to bring live data to fans, starting with metrics on scoreboards and TV broadcasts and growing into in-stadium mobile apps and games. Future projects include broadcasting and instant replay enhancements, umpiring solutions, player biomechanics capture, and virtual reality experiences.” For more information about the partnership, check out the official press release HERE.

Finally, all of these changes deserve a new look for the league and its branding. The Frontier League announced a new website including a new statistical platform and as well as new logos.

The new website and statistics will be provided by PrestoSports.

The league also unveiled a new logo that includes both the Canadian and American markets. “The new Frontier League logo, created by Brian Gundell Design, features patriotic symbolism representing both the Canadian (red) and United States (blue) markets.  The compass logo displays the navigation of new, unchartered territories, while the upward direction is indicative of the League’s always forward-looking approach.”

The Frontier League will officially begin its 29th season tonight, May 12th, with three games on the schedule: Tri-City Valley Cats vs Florence Y’alls, Sussex County Miners vs New York Boulders, and Joliet Slammers vs Windy City Thunderbolts.

The Atlantic League Draft Results, Kentucky Genomes Make History With Alexis “Scrappy” Hopkins

The Atlantic League held their annual player draft on Wednesday (March 23, 2022) where one team, the first-year Kentucky Genomes, made history.

With the 8th pick, the Genomes selected C Alexis “Scrappy” Hopkins.

“Hopkins is expected to become the Genomes’ bullpen catcher and is believed to be the first woman ever drafted by an American professional baseball team for an on-field role.” (MLB.com).

“I’m really excited for this,” Hopkins said. “About two or three years ago in one of my college classes, they said to write down a dream of yours. I was going to put down ‘professional baseball player,’ but I actually didn’t because I was like, ‘That’s never going to happen.’ But I guess here we are today, making a dream come alive.”

Hopkins played high school softball in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., before playing collegiately at Florida Tech in 2017. Her selection in the Draft followed the league’s two-day professional showcase.

“Scrappy handled the pitchers better than most of the guys here,” said Stan Cliburn, a former Major League catcher and current manager of the Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. “There were guys throwing 93 to 95 [mph], and she handled it just fine. And she was really good at blocking and picking the ball as well.”

MLB.com

Complete Atlantic League Draft Results Press Release

(March 23, 2022, Viera, Fla.) – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball held its annual Player Draft on Wednesday at the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera, Fla. The draft occurred at the end of the two-day Atlantic League Professional Showcase presented by Prospect Dugout.

Hector Guance was the first overall pick, going to the Staten Island FerryHawks who will begin their first season of play in 2022. Guance is a 6-6, 200-pound righthanded pitcher who spent six years in professional baseball including five seasons in the Baltimore organization. A native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, the 26-year old Guance compiled a 22-21 record in the minors, primarily as a starting pitcher.

The second pick went to the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes, another first-year franchise in the Atlantic League. The Genomes traded the pick to Long Island in return for the rights to OF Chris Shaw. Long Island then drafted LHP Cody Beckman with the second pick of the first round.

As new entries to the Atlantic League, the FerryHawks and the Genomes alternated on the first 12 picks of the draft.  The third overall pick by the FerryHawks was RHP Jordan Simpson. Kentucky then selected C Robbie Kellerman with the fourth pick.

Staten Island’s other selections included LHP Anthony Rodriguez (No. 5) and RHP Yohn Zapata (No. 11). The FerryHawks traded away their seventh and ninth selections for players to be named later.

Kentucky selected utility player Will Decker at No. 6 before selecting C Alexis “Scrappy” Hopkins at No. 8.  Hopkins is believed to be the first female ever drafted by an American professional baseball team for an on-field role. In 2008, in a special supplemental Negro League draft to the MLB Draft, the Washington Nationals selected 72-year old Mamie “Peanut” Johnson to mark the first woman ever drafted.

Update: According to Baseball America, LHP Carey Schueler was a 43rd round pick of the Chicago White Sox in 1993. While she did not sign, she is believed to be the first woman drafted in a non-honorary role.

The Genomes are expected to offer Hopkins the position of bullpen catcher.

Kentucky added RHP Bradley Hines at No. 10 and 1B Alex Wemple at No. 12 to conclude their first round selections.

Southern Maryland made the ninth selection after obtaining the pick from Staten Island and chose RHP Junior Navas.

Gastonia used the 13th pick in the draft to select SS Kevin Lambert while York picked LHP Adrian Alarcon with the 14th pick. Lancaster chose LHP Josh Smith at No. 15 and was followed by Charleston which took OF Kyle Robinson. Defending Atlantic League champion Lexington picked LHP Darrien Ragins with the 17th pick overall. Southern Maryland added LHP Dario Polanco at No. 18 and High Point picked RHP Thomas Derer with the 19th pick. Long Island passed on the final selection of the first round and all teams passed on the second round.

The Atlantic League teams open spring training on April 10 and Opening Day is slated for Thursday, April 21.

The complete draft follows:

2022 Atlantic League Draft  
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 
PickTeamSelection No. 
1Staten IslandHector GuanceRHP
2KentuckyTraded to Long Island 
 Long IslandCody BeckmanLHP
3Staten IslandJordan SimpsonRHP
4KentuckyRobbie KellermanC
5Staten IslandAnthony RodriguezLHP
6KentuckyWill DeckerUTIL
7Staten Islandtrade to York 
 YorkMatt MeyerLHP
8KentuckyAlexis “Scrappy” HopkinsC
9Staten Islandtrade to So. Maryland 
 So MarylandJunior NavasRHP
10KentuckyBradley HinesRHP
11Staten IslandYohn ZapataRHP
12KentuckyAlex Wemple1B
13GastoniaKevin LambertSS
14YorkAdrian AlarconLHP
15LancasterJosh SmithLHP
16CharlestonKyle RobinsonOF
17LexingtonDarrien RaginsLHP
18So MarylandDario PolancoLHP
19High PointThomas DererRHP
20Long Islandpass