Tag Archives: independent baseball tryouts

Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft

Today marks 100 days until Opening Day for the Frontier League.

The annual Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft has been announced for the season.

The Frontier League of Professional Baseball has announced that their 30th annual Tryout Camp and Draft will be held on Monday, April 24 and Tuesday, April 25 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, home of the Gateway Grizzlies. 

All 16 Frontier League teams will be represented at the workouts, and scouts from multiple Major League Baseball teams also attend each season.  Representatives from other independent leagues participate as well.  Advance registration is available at frontierleaguetryouts.eventbrite.com

The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 24 and will feature running, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens.  Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on April 25.  At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs and prepare for the draft.   

All players attending the Tryout Camp and Draft will receive analytic data of their performance, including pitch speed and spin rates for pitchers and launch angles and exit velocities for hitters. 

An average of 35 players have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts over the past twelve seasons.  Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, with five having ascended to the Major Leagues (Chris Jakubauskas, Seattle; Josh Smoker, New York Mets; Chris Smith, Toronto; Robert Stock, San Diego; and Nick Duron, Philadelphia). 

“Our Tryout Camp and Draft allows teams to complete their spring training rosters, with camps opening later that week,” commented deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler.  “Dozens of players each season receive professional contracts out of the event, and we have had many All-Star and championship players get their start at the workouts, along with the many players who have signed with MLB clubs. 

GCS Credit Union Ballpark is located at exit 15 off I-255 in Illinois, 30 minutes from St. Louis Lambert International Airport. 

IMPORTANT: As per the manufacturer’s warranty for the artificial playing surface at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, all players trying out must wear turf shoes or molded cleats. No metal cleats will be allowed. This policy is the same that is in effect for all events at GCS Credit Union Ballpark. Players attempting to enter GCS Credit Union Ballpark with metal cleats will be immediately disqualified from the workouts.  In addition, there is a strict no seed policy at the stadium. Participants are not permitted to bring seeds into the facility. 

Frontier League’s Road Team Will Be Owned And Operated By The Empire League

When the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations after last season, the Frontier League was looking at an uneven number of teams to compete for the 2022 season.

As in years past, the solution was to add an additional team that would play every game on the road.

This season, the Frontier League announced that they will partner with the Empire League to provide that final team.

FRONTIER LEAGUE WELCOMES EMPIRE STATE GREYS FOR 2022 SEASON

(Official press release)

The Frontier League of Professional Baseball announced a partnership with the Empire League which will own and operate the Empire State Greys as a participant in the Frontier League during the 2022 season. The Greys, based out of Tupper Lake, New York, will be playing all of their games on the road, but will field a team by adhering to the same roster and salary rules as all Frontier League clubs.

The Empire League began play in 2016 and features four teams in upstate New York and northern New Hampshire. The Empire League is owned by brothers Eddie and Jerry Gonzalez along with MLB outfielder Matt Joyce. Eddie Gonzalez played in the Frontier League from 2006-08, including participating in the 2006 Championship Series. Jerry Gonzalez played as an infielder in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization in 2007 and 2008. Matt Joyce has appeared in 1,400 MLB games over a 14-year career, and saw postseason action for Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Miami.

The Empire League moved 34 players to MLB Partner Leagues during the 2021 season, including 10 to the Frontier League. Current Frontier League coaches Joe Gannon (Tri-City) and Jared Lemieux (New Jersey) plus former Frontier League and current Atlantic League managers Jamie Keefe and Mark Mason have worked with the Empire League.

“We are very interested in seeing where this partnership goes. The Empire League’s historical ties to the Frontier League plus their New York base made them an ideal partner,” stated deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler. “Eddie Gonzalez has impressive baseball experiences and we like what he brings in terms of his player development skills, network, and desire to compete.”

The Empire State Greys will hold spring training at their home base in Tupper Lake, New York, before starting regular season play at the Gateway Grizzlies on May 13. Empire State will play in the league’s Eastern Division. They will play one 3-game series against the eight Western Division clubs, three series against the three Canadian teams in the Eastern Division, and four series against the four United States teams in the Eastern Division. Their full schedule is available at www.empirestategreys.com.

“It is a great honor to be able to join forces with the Frontier League,” stated Empire League CEO Eddie Gonzalez. “For us at the Empire League, we take pride in providing our best available scouting and recruitment baseball service to help players advance their careers. Having a team in the Frontier League through this great partnership, will create huge opportunities for not only Empire League players, but also open more doors for the up and coming players pursuing a pro career. We look forward to filling a very competitive Greys roster this year in pursuit of a historic Frontier League championship” 

The Frontier League of Professional Baseball is an official Partner League of Major League Baseball and the largest of its kind in professional baseball. The Frontier League has moved over 1,000 players to MLB Teams in its 29-year history. The 2022 Frontier League season opens on Thursday, May 12. Please visit www.frontierleague.com.