Tag Archives: MLB

2021 The Summer of Signings

Major League Baseball organizations are signing independent players at an alarming rate this summer.

Baseball America has reported that 150 players have been signed from the MLB Partner Leagues (Atlantic League, American Association, Frontier League, and Pioneer League) as of their article on June 25th.

With the reduction in minor league affiliated teams, it makes sense for the MLB Partner Leagues to act as true feeder leagues to major league organizations. On top of that, the summer off for most players last year also has to be attributing to the injury-riddled rosters.

And while the number of contracts purchased gives indy ball players hope, it is starting to affect the level of play (especially pitching) for those still within the partner leagues.

If you’ve watched any game from a Partner League this season, you may have noticed that the level of play is down from years past. That was evident in the beginning of the season, but even more so now that their rosters have all been poached for talent to fill spots. Specifically, there is a huge drop in the level of pitching. Teams are really just trying to find arms to fill spots and eat up innings. Throwing strikes with some sort of velocity is a plus, but even that is getting harder and harder to find.

So if the major league organizations find players in the partner leagues, where do the partner leagues go to fill their depleted rosters?

Of course, the normal college grads are always an option but…

There are various true independent leagues running around the country that each have a goal to get players the game reps they need to be seen and hopefully move up to a partner league.

Right now, the Yinzer League (based in the Frontier League Washington Wildthing’s ballpark in Pennsylvania) are playing games every day. This league, ran by Joe Torre and the Black Sox (you may be familiar with them if you’re a reader of this site), has worked hard to get guys seen and signed this summer. Players have gone to each partner league in the month that they have been playing.

The USPBL (which also runs out of a single stadium in Utica, MI) is another option for players who need a spot to play.

Likewise, the Pecos League in the southwest and the Empire League in the northeast are giving players opportunities to play, gain stats, and hopefully move up to a team that is looking for a player who is already game ready.

If you’re sitting at home but want to get back in the game… there ARE spots available. A LOT of spots. It may not be easy finding them. It may be a true grind once you get there. But teams are looking.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE COMMENCING WITH BASEBALL AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIP

-OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DECEMBER 29, 2020

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE COMMENCING WITH BASEBALL AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIP

MOORHEAD, MN – The American Association of Professional Baseball and the Australian Baseball League (ABL) have agreed to a new partnership which will see the two leagues collaborate on numerous on-field and off-field projects, the two leagues announced.

The American Association is a Partner League of Major League Baseball and operates a 100-game season from May-September. The Australian Baseball League was founded in 2010 and typically operates from November-February in both Australia and New Zealand and features Australian homegrown talent and prospects from around the world.

The agreement signed by both organizations will see the two leagues collaborate in areas including video streaming and marketing and opens the door for the potential exchange of personnel between seasons of players, umpires, coaching staff and club administrators. This is the first time the American Association has entered into an agreement with a league that operates outside of the AAPB’s North American summer season.

The first step in the agreement is the American Association streaming select games from the ABL 2020-2021 season on the league’s streaming platform at www.aabaseball.tv. The ABL will reciprocate during the American Association season on their streaming platform. Twenty games from the 2020-21 ABL season will be streamed this winter starting December 31. The full broadcast schedule is listed at the end of the release

“As the American Association continues to position itself as the top MLB Partner League, forming a solid long-term relationship with the Australian Baseball League is important on many fronts,” said Joshua Schaub, Commissioner of the American Association. “Many of our current and former players have played in Australia and have had great success and experiences in the league. We look forward to exposing our fanbase to the excitement of the ABL and working together to better both leagues.”

“Providing streaming content into both markets is an immediate first step,” said Cam Vale, Chief Executive of Baseball Australia. “Partnerships like this have great potential and intent. The measure of its success will be in using the experience of our league and teams. It offers the potential for 12 months of ongoing engagement and cross-over that can allow for development of players, coaches, umpire and club staff.”

Further meetings between the American Association and the ABL are planned for early 2021 to explore all available opportunities between the two leagues.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE ON WWW.AABASEBALL.TV

BROADCAST SCHEDULE (All Times Listed are U.S. Central Time Zone)

12/31/20          Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/1/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/2/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         2:00 AM CT

1/3/21              Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces                         8:00 PM CT

1/14/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/15/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/16/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/16/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Melbourne Aces                8:00 PM CT

1/21/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/22/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/22/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/23/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/23/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                8:00 PM CT

1/24/21            Sydney Blue Sox vs. Perth Heat                        4:00 AM CT

1/25/21            Brisbane Bandits vs. Melbourne Aces                2:00 AM CT

1/25/21            Adelaide Giants vs. Perth Heat (DH)                 2:00 AM CT & 5:00 AM CT

1/26/21            Adelaide Giants vs. Perth Heat                          2:00 AM CT

1/29/21            Melbourne Aces vs. Perth Heat                         4:00 AM CT

1/30/21            Melbourne Aces vs. Perth Heat                         4:00 AM CT