Tag Archives: independent baseball

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

MLB Announces Experimental Rules For Atlantic League In 2022

As in the past, major league baseball intends to use the Atlantic League as a test for more experimental rules.

Official Press Release:

Major League Baseball (MLB) today announced two experimental playing rules for use during the 2022 Atlantic League (ALPB) Championship Season.  The rules are designed to create more action on the field, to reward athleticism and to raise the profile of starting pitchers.

        Other promising rules first tested in the Atlantic League, such as Automated Balls-Strikes (ABS), have been expanded to affiliated play in the Minor Leagues, while the ALPB continues to pioneer rules and equipment tests. The experimental rules below were previously tested in the Atlantic League on a limited basis. Below is a summary of the experimental rules that will be tested to start the 2022 Atlantic League season:

·        Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment:  The double-hook designated hitter will be modified. In 2021, teams lost their designated hitter when they removed the starting pitcher from the game.  However, in 2022, if the starter is able to complete at least five innings, the designated hitter will be allowed to remain in the lineup for the entirety of the game.  This rule intends to place emphasis on longer outings by starting pitchers.

·        Dropped Pitch Rule: As in the second half of 2019, batters will be able to advance to first base on any pitch that is not caught in the air by the catcher, even with first base occupied by a runner.  Those who get to first base safely will be awarded a hit.  This rule will increase the importance of taking care of the baseball (e.g., pitching with command, receiving, and blocking pitches) and reward athletic players who are able to capitalize on wild pitches and passed balls.

         Michael Hill, MLB’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations, said: “Given the positive results of recent years, we are continuing to prioritize the kinds of experimental rules that many baseball fans routinely discuss and want to learn more about.  Testing in the Atlantic League and throughout the Minors will provide us with more valuable feedback and data that can be taken into consideration.”

        Rick White, President of the Atlantic League, said: “We continue to be excited about ALPB’s role helping Major League Baseball determine the future of the game. We are proud many of the tests pioneered in the Atlantic League are reaching a broader audience throughout all levels of professional baseball.”

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About The Atlantic League
The Atlantic League is the first Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the Major Leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation.  The ALPB has sent over 1,000 player to MLB organizations while drawing 44 million fans during its 23-year history. Please visit http://www.AtlanticLeague.com.

Contact: Steve Shutt (336-970-7512) or Andrew Bandstra (515-664-6936), ALPB Communications