Tag Archives: MLB Partner League

2021 Season Wrap-Up and a Look Ahead

Baseball season is over. The Atlanta Braves are the 2021 MLB World Series champions. 2022 schedules are starting to be released. And it’s time to officially wrap up the 2021 Independent baseball season.

2021 Season Champions:

MLB Partner Leagues

Atlantic League – Lexington Legends (Win in their first year in the league)
Atlantic League Official Press Release

American Association – Kansas City Monarchs (2nd championship in 4 years)
American Association Official Press Release 

Frontier League – Schaumburg Boomers (4th championship – the most in league history)
Frontier League Official Press Release

Pioneer League – Missoula Puddleheads (Win the first championship as a Partner league)
Pioneer League Official Press Release 

Other Independent Leagues

United Shore Pro Baseball League – Utica Unicorns (Win third straight championship)
USPBL Official Press Release 

Pecos League – Tucson Saguaros (Win back-to-back championships)
Tucson News Press Release 

Empire League – Saranac Lake Surge (First championship in franchise history)
Empire League Official Press Release 

Yinzer League – Killer B’s (win back-to-back championships – the only winners in the league’s two year existence in Washington, PA)

Southern Shores Pro League – S. Carolina Yankees (Inaugural season for the league)

2022 News

Atlantic League Adds a 10th Team

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced it has added a 10th team for 2022. Referred to as the Kentucky team (KY), the club will be listed on the league’s official 24th Championship Series Season schedule.  

The club is owned by Lexington-based Stands LLC, which plans to announce a team name shortly. The club will play a full Atlantic League schedule while co-occupying the home of the defending ALPB Champion Lexington Legends. The two clubs will also play each other in select matchups. 

The Kentucky team will provide a 10th team and balanced schedule in the year in which a Staten Island club will join the eight existing Atlantic League clubs. A 10th city will join the league in 2023 when Hagerstown, Maryland, fields an Atlantic League club.

CLICK HERE to read more.

American Association Releases 2022 Schedule

The American Association of Professional Baseball has released the 2022 league schedule which includes the debut of a new member, division realignment, and a new playoff format. The American Association will play a 100-game season in 116 days. Opening Day is Friday, May 13 and the regular season will conclude on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day).

DOWNLOAD THE 2022 SCHEDULE HERE

The 2022 season will kick off with a full six-game slate on Friday, May 13 and will feature the first-ever game of the Lake Country DockHounds, who will face their cross-town rival Milwaukee Milkmen at the Milkmen’s home stadium in Franklin, Wisc. The DockHounds, based in Oconomowoc, Wisc., will open the newly-constructed Wisconsin Brewing Company Field on Friday, May 20 and host the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Pioneer League Releases 2022 Schedule, Add Two Teams

The Pioneer Baseball League (“PBL”) today announced its schedule for the 2022 Championship Season. The PBL expands to 10 teams in 2022 with the return of the Northern Colorado Owlz (formerly Orem Owlz) and the addition of a new team in Flathead Valley, MT.

“We’re very excited to begin the 2022 season after the historic year we just completed,” said Pioneer League Commissioner Jim McCurdy. “By adding two new teams in two new ballparks, the league is poised to build on its promise to sensibly expand throughout the Mountain States region.

CLICK HERE to read more and view entire schedule.

Yinzer League off-season

The Black Sox/Yinzer League are continuing their usual off season training including tryouts and scout days in Florida. The Black Sox Pro Baseball League will once again be having a barnstorming tour playing spring training games in various indy leagues around the country before the 2022 Yinzer League starts.

CLICK HERE for more info on the Black Sox.

Atlantic League Mound Movement Results Are Not As Noticeable As Expected

Earlier this year, there was an uproar in the baseball world when it was revealed that the Atlantic League would go ahead with MLB’s experimental movement of the mound.

When Indy Ball Island first reported the change in August, players were concerned about how much it would change the game and if the move would ultimately injure pitchers.

There were even a few players who ended up on the inactive list or were contemplating retirement over their concern and issues.

It was also rumored that if players or coaches were to speak out negatively about the changes, they would be banned from playing in the MLB or in any of the partner leagues. Clearly, the MLB was expecting a lot of outrage when they decided to continue with their experiment.

But as the New York Post reported, all of the concern was blown out of proportion as not much has really changed in the Atlantic League.

There are a few slightly noticeable differences…

Courtesy of Long Island Ducks & The New York Post

From the adjustment’s implementation on Aug. 3 through Sept. 19, as per MLB (reported by the NYPost):

• Run scoring is up by .22 runs per game.

• Slugging percentage is up 26 points, a by-product of home runs being up from 2.9 percent of all outcomes to 3.6 percent. “I think that’s probably the most meaningful thing that has happened,” Sword said. “Twenty points of slugging is not a lot, but directionally, it’s what we were hoping for.”

• Strikeouts are up a tick, from 18.3 percent to 18.4. “I couldn’t explain that one to you,” Sword said In conjunction with that, the batting average on balls in play has dropped from .324 to .320.

• There’s a “slight increase” in the percentage of fastballs thrown and a “very small decrease” in the number of sliders and curveballs thrown.

But overall, the one foot increase from the mound to the plate seemed to bring little changes and no directly reported injuries (that I have seen) – a big concern of a lot of players over a month ago.

Most players, pitchers and hitters alike, didn’t seem to notice.

Said Scott Harkin, who pitched six innings of one-run ball for the Ducks that night, picking up a 4-2 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs: “Honestly, I don’t even notice it.”

Said Ducks outfielder LJ Mazzilli: “I think a lot of people got ahead of themselves before it actually happened. They really were opinionated early on, and I was just trying to take it in and let me see for myself. And then as soon as I got in, that first game, that first fastball I saw, it was like the exact same as what I’ve been seeing my whole life. I was like, ‘This is not as crazy as people were making it seem.’ ”

NY Post

And even when some pitchers reported a slight difference, such as Long Island Ducks RHP Joe Iorio, he was able to overcome it quickly because that’s always the goal of the game.

Ducks pitcher Joe Iorio, a native of West Islip, said he had to adjust his arm slot to throw his off-speed pitches: “I’m trying to get it to a different spot now, because he’s a foot back. The hitter obviously has a little more time to see it.”

Yet Iorio added: “It’s definitely an adjustment, but at the end of the day, we’ve been pitching our whole lives, so you feel like you can figure it out pretty quickly. But once you get in the game, it’s a constant adjustment, and that’s pitching, anyway. Whether it’s the regular distance or not, you’re always adjusting and trying to fine-tune your pitches.”

NY Post

If you would like to read more about the effects and responses to the movement of the pitcher’s mound or about the other rule changes put into place in the Atlantic League, check out Ken Davidoff’s in-depth article, MLB’s mound experiment an underwhelming minor league innovation, from the New York Post HERE.