Tag Archives: CWL baseball

The Desert League and CWL Reach An Agreement

On December 8th, the Desert League officially announced an agreement with the California Winter League (CWL).  The post, which was put on Facebook, stated:

Important! After reaching an agreement with the California Winter League the Desert League has cancelled the 2018 season.  We have negotiated an agreement with the California Winter League for all of our players to attend the CWL at a discounted rate. The number for the CWL is 760 778 4487. We are also refunding money that has been paid for the 5 day tryout camp and the Developmental League. For more details and instructions on getting your refund processed please visit us at http://www.desertleague.com

I reached out to both Luke Powell, owner of the Desert League, and Andrew Starke, president of the CWL, to find out just what the agreement means for players.

Luke Powell:

*Luke stated that he could not go into detail about how the agreement came about, but answered all my other questions.*

  1. Why did you think it was in your best interest to make a deal?

 

The Desert League is played in Arizona but I live in North Dakota. John Guy is my right-hand man in Arizona and takes care of all the leg work for the Desert League. This year John has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and battled several other health problems. It’s been very hard for him to get done with a lot of things that we needed to get done. He is the only person I trust to do the job and without him we can’t operate this year.  I made the deal with the CWL because I didn’t want the players to have a bad experience like they have had in so many other indy leagues. I wanted to do it the right way or no way.

 

  1. The Desert League always made a big deal about the fact that it paid their players and wasn’t a pay to play league, why are you now encouraging players to go that route?

 

There are no other indy leagues that pay baseball players in January. If a player wants to play that time of the year, then they have to do a pay to play league, and if they’re going to pay to play baseball… I’m going to recommend the best pay-for-play league there is, and that’s hands down the CWL.

 

  1. What do you think the benefits will be for these players who take the chance at the CWL?

 

The players that attend the CWL will have a chance to play daily in front of tons of scouts from both MLB and multiple Indy organizations. And unlike the AWL (Arizona Winter League), the CWL has an official affiliation with the Frontier League. A player will get more expose in the CWL than any other winter league.

Andrew Starke:

1. How did the idea for the deal come about, and what was the final deal that was made?

Back in October, Luke Powell was driving through Palm Springs from LA to Phoenix. We sat down with him in our office to clear the air and talk about the industry in general. We had some questions about what made Luke so upset with the CWL and he had some questions about where we got some of the information that we had about housing and payment for players in the Desert League. The conversation was pretty straightforward and relaxed and after both parties had the answers to their questions, we discussed the industry in general and agreed that there was a misinformation on certain aspects of one another’s businesses. Close to Thanksgiving, we learned that Luke was frustrated about the way that his 2018 season was coming together and he was not happy with the options he had at that time in order to field a 4 team league in 2018. During these conversations, we learned that Luke also operates his own, successful business in the oil industry and he simply could not devote the time necessary to the Desert League in order to operate it in the manner which he envisioned it being operated.

We discussed several options with Luke about what to do before ultimately coming to an agreement that would see any Desert League player who was under contract, or was to attend their tryout camp or development league, have the opportunity to attend the 2018 California Winter League at a discounted rate. Luke wanted to make sure that his players had somewhere to go in January, and while the CWL is a more expensive options than the Desert League for players, we agreed on a price that was close to the same daily rate that players would have paid for training camp (which did not include housing) or the developmental league. Our price is higher because we include housing, food, etc. in Palm Springs, CA for 28 days during peak tourist season.

While I am sure some players will not be willing or able to come up with the difference in price between now and the start of the CWL on January 22nd, Luke wanted to make sure that they had a realistic option at a price point that could be justified. We wanted to make sure that we did not miss an opportunity to discuss the CWL with the dozens of players who were committed to the Desert League. So the agreement made sense for both parties.

2. In what ways do you think this is going to benefit players (ones from the Desert League and ones who were already attending the CWL)?

For players who were set to participate in the Desert League, this deal will give them a chance to continue pursuing professional baseball. There are not many options for baseball players to play in front of managers and scouts who are looking to sign players in January and February. This agreement, and the timing of the announcement of the cancellation of the Desert League season, gives players a realistic alternative to play in front of representatives from MLB, the Frontier League, the American Association, the Atlantic League, the Baseball Challenge League in Japan (who we just announced an agreement with), the United Shores League, and the Pacific Association. It’s more exposure than they would have received in the Desert League. We want to offer exposure to many different types of professional leagues in 2018 so players can still find contract offers regardless of age or experience level.

Playing in front of managers and scouts from all of these different leagues for a month will, in my opinion, offer Desert League players much more exposure than they may have received otherwise. As far as the benefit to players already attending the CWL, a late surge in player registrations would allow us to add more teams to the CWL schedule and hire more managers or scouts to coach those teams. More managers and scouts on staff at the CWL means more organizations represented who are looking to sign players.

That really is the main benefit, at this point. We will still ensure that the level of play is respectable and require that all players, including those from the Desert League, have previous college or professional experience.

3. How is this going to affect your league and the competition for contracts/roster spots for regular summer leagues?

Well hopefully we can add more teams and bring out managers from more independent league teams who want to sign players. That would be a real positive at this late stage. We’re not sure at this point what type of response we will see after the news about the Desert League and how it will affect the number of players we have this year. If we only receive a small influx of players, than it will not affect things much at all competition wise.

If we receive a great deal of interest and many players register, then we will look at bringing out more coaches who have the ability to sign players for their organizations. We will not, under any circumstances, have rosters that are larger than 22 or so players per team and we will make sure that we have as many teams and leagues represented out here as possible in January. Our goal is to get as many players signed as possible and historically, teams will sign maybe 2-5 players from the CWL. So the more players who register, the more teams we have, the more coaches we need to manage those teams, which hopefully leads to more contracts signed. That’s our goal.

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2017 California Winter League Signings Mid-Season Update

CWL

After the California Winter League concludes each year, the league uploads a list of signings for the 2017 season.  This year, 73 different players have been listed as signing at least a spring training contract for various independent leagues and major league organizations within the United States.

Some players have been listed more than once and are denoted by an *

Since all the leagues are now mid-way through their seasons, we have decided to do an update to see how many CWL players are still on active rosters around the country.

Here is a look at how those players have done through mid-July:

MLB (8)

Shao-Pin Ho Miami Marlins (Playing for the Batavia Muckdogs.  He has yet to appear in a game with the Muckdogs, but in 4 games in the GCL, he had a .429 avg).
*Danny Hoy New York Mets (Playing for the Kingsport Mets. In 7 games, he has a .154 avg).
Andrew Alvarez Arizona Diamondbacks (ST) (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
*Jose Flores Arizona Diamondbacks (ST) (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. He has not played in a game this season).
*Jarret Martin Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Richmond Flying Squirrels – AA for the San Francisco Giants. He had a 0.98 ERA in 18 games with the York Revolution before his contract was sold to the Giants. With Richmond, he has a 3.52 ERA and 1-1 record in 13 games).
*Jose Flores Texas Rangers (ST) (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. He has not played in a game this season).
*Josh McAdams Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Lake Erie Crushers in the Frontier League. He has a .235 avg in 41 games and 136 AB).
*Kyano Cummings Texas Rangers (ST) (Playing for the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League. In 25 games and 32.2 IP, he has a 1.10 ERA with a 2-1 record while picking up 5 saves. Earlier this season, he pitched for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League where he had an ERA of 15 in 3 games and 3 IP).

Frontier League (35)

Blair Beck Windy City ThunderBolts (Playing for Windy City where he also played in 2016. This year, he has a .241 avg and 3 HR in 48 games).
James Ball Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League. After being released from Traverse City on July 1st with a 1-2 record and 7.99 ERA in 13 games and 23.2 IP, he went to the United Shore League. In 2 games and 2 IP with the Diamond Hoppers, he has 3 K and a 0.00 ERA).
Mike McClellan Schaumburg Boomers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Lucas Hunter Traverse City Beach Bums (Released on June 23rd. In the 13 games and 27 AB before being released, he had a .111 average with 2 stolen bases).
Adam Falcon So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Trinidad Triggers in the Pecos League. He has a 10.56 ERA in 23 games and 23 IP with a 2-3 record and 27 K).
Peyton Lobdell So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Lake Erie Crushers. Between both the Miners and the Crushers, he has pitched in 10 games (all starts) with a combined record of 3-6 with a 7.44 ERA in 52 IP).
Will Krug Windy City ThunderBolts (Playing for Windy City. He has a .103 avg in 26 games and 58 AB).
Joe Webb Evansville Otters (Released on June 8th. Before being released, he had a 8.03 ERA with a 0-1 record in 3 starts and 12.1 IP).
*Jose Flores Florence Freedom (DL. Currently on the 60 day DL with the Freedom. He has not played in a game this season).
Nate Ferrell Lake Erie Crushers (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers. He was released after 2 games and 2 AB with no hits for Lake Erie. Signed with the Freedom on June 13th but was released on June 29th after batting .208 in 6 games and 24 AB. With the Diamond Hoppers, he is batting .286 in 3 games and 14AB).
D’Aundray Van Slyke Florence Freedom (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Scott Morton Windy City ThunderBolts (Suspended. Placed on the suspended list at the beginning of spring training).
Brandon Oliver So. Illinois Miners (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League. He was released during spring training with the Miners, then signed to the Lake Erie Crushers. He was also released by the Crushers on July 1st after batting .213 in 14 games and 47 AB. He then joined the Diamond Hoppers and is batting .250 in 2 games and 8 AB).
*Josh McAdams Lake Erie Crushers (Playing for the Crushers. He has a .235 avg in 41 games and 136 AB).
Josh Falbo Washington Wild Things (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Brandon Maddern Normal Cornbelters (Released on June 7th. He played in 7 games with a 17.18 ERA before being released).
Tyler Hunt Windy City ThunderBolts (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Andrew Moralez Evansville Otters (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Nick Murphy Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for Traverse City. In 28 games and 91 AB, he has a .231 avg with 10 RBI).
DJ Gee River City Rascals (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Zach Jones Joliet Slammers (Playing for Windy City. He was orginally released by the Slammers in spring training. He signed with Windy City on July 3rd and has no hits in 1 game and 3 AB).
Nigel Nootbaar Normal Cornbelters (Released on June 30th. He had a 5.57 ERA with a 2-1 record in 15 games and 21 IP). 
Joe Mello Evansville Otters (Playing for Traverse City. He has a 1.80 ERA with a 0-1 record and 20 K in 15 games and 25 IP).
Ryan Rinsky Florence Freedom (Playing for the Freedom. In 17 games and 43 AB, he has a .140 avg with 7 RBI).
Dillion Sprague River City Rascals (Playing for the Utica Unicorns in the United Shore League. He was released by the Rascals in spring training and went to the USPBL in July. In 4 games and 7 AB with the Unicorns, he has a .286 avg).
Cody Beck Gateway Grizzlies (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Richard England Schaumburg Boomers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Ryan Garvey Traverse City Beach Bums (Playing for Traverse City. He has a .174 avg with 7 RBI in 26 games and 86 AB).
Ozzy Braff Florence Freedom (Playing for the Freedom. In 28 games and 74 AB, he is batting .243 with 9 RBI).
Bobby San Martin Washington Wild Things (Playing for the Beavers in the United Shore League. After being released by the WildThings in the Frontier during spring training, he went to the United Shore. In 6 games and 18 AB, he has a .167 average).
Robert Maislin Lake Erie Crushers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Lance Montano Evansville Otters (Playing for the Otters. In 27 games and 83 AB, he has a .265 avg with 2 HR).
Nick Berger Washington Wild Things (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Justin Kovalsky Joliet Slammers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
*Brent Gillespie Gateway Grizzlies (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. After being released from spring trainings, he returned to the Pacifics where he was in 2016. This year, he has a .274 avg and 30 RBI in 31 games and 117 AB).

Atlantic League (2)

*Kyano Cummings So. Maryland Blue Crabs (Playing for the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League. In 25 games and 32.2 IP, he has a 1.10 ERA with a 2-1 record while picking up 5 saves. Earlier this season, he pitched for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League where he had an ERA of 15 in 3 games and 3 IP).
*Jarrett Martin York Revolution (Playing for the Richmond Flying Squirrels – AA for the San Francisco Giants. He had a 0.98 ERA in 18 games with the York Revolution before his contract was sold to the Giants. With Richmond, he has a 3.52 ERA and 1-1 record in 13 games).

American Association (11)

Matt Silberman Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. Released by the Railroaders during spring training. He then signed with Windy City in the Frontier League on June 28th. He pitched in one game with 3 H and 2 BB without recording an out. He was released on July 11th. In 1 game with the Pacifics he has a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 IP).
Casey Upperman Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the Railroaders. In 17 games and 19.2 IP, he has a 2.29 ERA).
Thomas McGuckin Texas Airhogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
John Crank Texas Airhogs (Playing for the Beavers in the United Shore League. After being released by Texas in spring training, he went to the Beavers where he has a .148 avg. in 8 games and 27 AB).
Lance Van Noy Winnipeg Goldeyes (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Alfonso Reda Lincoln Saltdogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
John Menken Cleburne Railroaders (Playing for the Eastside Diamond Hoppers in the United Shore League.  In 21 games and 80 AB, he has a .338 avg with 14 RBI).
Casey Fletcher Texas Airhogs (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Dylan Thompson Sioux Falls Canaries (Playing for the Canaries – where he also played in 2016 For this season, he has a 0.34 ERA in 23 games and 26.2 IP with a record of 2-1).
Jake Luce Texas Airhogs (Released on June 8th. He had a .151 avg in 18 g and 53 AB before being released).
Quinton Alexander Texas Airhogs (Playing for the Utica Unicorns in the United Shore League. In 9 games and 22 AB, he has a .227 avg).

Can-Am League (1)

Jeff Watkins Quebec Les Capitales (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).

Pacific Association (5)

Elijah Briseno San Rafael Pacifics (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Matt LoCoco Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Stompers. He has a .244 avg with 18 RBI in 30 games and 90 AB).
Dakota Freese San Rafael Pacifics (Playing for the Pacifics. In 7 starts and 41.2 IP, he has a 2-1 record with a 3.24 ERA and 57 K).
Tyler Garkow Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Stompers. He has a 4-0 record and a 3.14 ERA with 49K in 7 starts and 43 IP).
Alex Sawelson Sonoma Stompers (Playing for the Bakersfield Train Robbers in the Pecos League. He was released by Sonoma during spring training, but with the Train Robbers, he has a .316 avg, 5 HR and 31 RBI in 29 games and 114 AB).

United Shore Professional Baseball League (17)

Thomas Roulis Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has a .284 avg with 10 RBI in 24 games and 81 AB).
John Kraft Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 13 games and 33 AB, he has a .273 avg).
*Brent Gillespie Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association. After being released from spring trainings, he returned to the Pacifics where he was in 2016. This year, he has a .274 avg and 30 RBI in 31 games and 117 AB).
Tanner Oymaian Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Shane Gonzales Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Released. In 5 games and 18 AB, he had a .167 avg before being released).
Mark Burnside Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Tanner Kiest Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 2 games (1 start) and 5 IP, he has a 3.60 ERA with 7 K).
Tony Holten Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released during spring training. No stats available for 2017).
Kevin Matthews Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Rome Braves, A ball for the Atlanta Braves. After going 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA in 6 games for the Beavers, he signed with the Braves organization. In 4 games and 6.1 IP with Rome, he has a 0.00 ERA with 5 K).
Nick Buckner Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has an average of .269 in 25 games and 93 AB).
Cameron MacKenzie Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. In 11 games and 13.1 IP, he has a 2.77 ERA).
Louis Johnson Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. He has a .212 avg in 14 games and 33 AB).
Brian Heldman Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers (Playing for the Beavers. In 9 games and 10.1 IP, he has a 1-2 record and a 111.32 ERA).
Jeremy Scott Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. He has 7 RBI and a .222 avg in 14 games and 27 AB).
Devin Alexander Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. He has a 3-1 record with a 2.78 ERA in 10 games and 32.1 IP).
Jordan Pannell Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Playing for Eastside. In 13 games and 23 IP, he has a 1.96 ERA with a 3-0 record).
Myles Richard Eastside Diamond Hoppers (Released. Started 2 games and pitched 8.2 innings with a 9.34 ERA and 0-1 record before being released).

 

Out of the 73 players, 43 of them are still currently active on a roster and playing somewhere.

Of those 43 players, 19 of them are now on a different team than the one they originally signed with. Many that signed with the Frontier League or American Association are now in the Pacific Association or United Shore League.

Despite having a deal with the Frontier League to offer contracts, only 11 of the 35 players signed to Frontier League contracts are still playing in the Frontier League. Three of those 11 are currently on a different Frontier team than the one they signed to out of the CWL.

(All stats and rosters were found through PointStreak).