Tag Archives: United Shore Professional Baseball League

Fall/Winter Leagues… Is One Right For You?

More and more instructional baseball leagues are popping up every year.

These leagues are all competing for players to play for them (and give them their money).

Over the last few years, some of these instructional leagues have been starting to “educate” players by saying something negative about the other leagues. If you look on social media, you can see people associated with a lot of these leagues arguing about who is better…. and why you should give them your money instead of giving it to some other guy.

Some leagues have even banned players from playing in their league if the player went to a different winter league.

Every year towards the end of the regular season for indy ball, I always get the question… should I go to a fall or winter league during the off season? What one is right for me? Are they really worth the money?

While I can’t answer those questions for every player, I do want to make players aware of everything that’s out there and give nothing but a comprehensive list of facts including: when/where the leagues are held, what associations they have with other leagues or scouts/coaches, and the costs since these leagues can be VERY pricey.

Please keep in mind, that you should also take lists of “signed players” that these winter leagues put out with a grain of salt. The majority of the time, these players are only signed for spring training, or have already landed on a team thanks to their own hard work and the instructional leagues take credit because they were there to get extra reps in.

The following information was gathered through the various leagues’ websites.

Black Sox Pro Baseball League

When:
All the time.

Where:
All across the country.

Cost:
Varies. No set “cost.”

Affiliation(s):
No actual affiliation. Plays games against affiliated teams as well as independent leagues (Atlantic, Frontier, American, Can-Am, and Pacific).

Additional Info:
The Black Sox are different than anything else on this list. It isn’t actually a winter league. It also doesn’t have a set cost that they charge each player.

Joe Torre runs the Black Sox Pro Baseball League. Torre puts together various teams all around the country including teams in New Jersey and Florida as well as teams that travel during independent league spring training.

The teams are made up of players looking to get in at bats and innings playing against established teams. This helps give players exposure to managers and coaches who can get a feel for how the players play in real game situations.

Find more information on the Black Sox on their Official Website. 

This season, a few member of the Black Sox wrote a guest blog for the site –  Guest Bloggers – The Black Sox Series.

In addition, here is an inside look of my interaction with the Black Sox team when they came to town for our education day – Education Day with the Black Sox.

California Winter League

When:
Players Report- January 22nd.
MLB workouts – January 23rd and 24th.
Season – January 25th to February 18th.

Where:
Palm Springs Stadium Complex, California.

Cost:
$3,300 pay in full or $3,500 with $1,000 deposit until Oct 1st
$3,400 pay in full or $3,500 with $1,000 deposit until Nov 1st
$3,500 after Nov 1st

Limit 2 discounts per player

$750 discount if player provides their own housing and meals
$200 professional discount
$1,000 deposit due upon registration (no refunds will be issued on deposits for any reason)
Balance due 1/1/18
Payment plans available

What’s Covered:
Lodging
Two meals per day – Combination of restaurant vouchers and catered meals at the stadium
Local transportation to training facilities for entire length of league
Catcher’s gear will be provided (if needed)
Players are responsible for their own transportation to and from Palm Springs, California
MLB alumni player/coach instruction
Current Independent League managers and MLB scouts looking to sign players
Game action
Uniforms (Pants, Jersey, Hat, Belt, Socks, Workout Shorts, Workout Shirt)
Equipment (Bats, Balls, Helmets)
Locker room facility
Laundered uniforms daily
EOS Fitness membership for the duration of the league

Affiliation(s):
Frontier League. As of the 2018 season, if you wish to play in the Frontier League, you cannot attend any other winter league or participate in the Pecos League or Empire league. Their list of “banned” players and exceptions can be found HERE.

In addition to an agreement with the Frontier League, the league also states that “the CWL has instructors and coaches from the following Independent Professional Baseball Leagues: Frontier League, American Association, Can-Am League, Atlantic League, United Shore Professional Baseball League and Pacific Association; all of which, came with contracts in hand, ready to sign players who stood out.” If you attend the CWL, you are not eligible to play in the Pecos league.
Two days of MLB scouted workouts are also held.

Additional Info:

Why The CWL? – Official Website.

CWL Signings Mid-Season Update – Indy Ball Island.

Registration: 2018 Registration Form Link

Arizona Winter League

When:
Players Report – January 30th.
Spring Training – January 31st and February 1st. Followed by a practice day.
Games Start – February 3rd.
Players Depart – February 26th, 2018

Where:
Ray Kroc Baseball Complex (Yuma, Arizona)

Cost:
Regular Registration: $2,500
Regular in Full: $2,250 (Register in Full by 12/31/17 and get $250 off of the regular rate)
Returning Player Registration: $2,000 (any former player of the AWL, TWL, and TSL)
Local Rate: $500 (players who will not need housing and meals)
Deposit Option: $500 (secure your spot, balance of $2,000 due by January 1st, 2018)

What’s Covered:
Hotel (2 players per room)
2 meals per day (Breakfast and Lunch)
Gym access
Uniforms
Bats (Each team is issued a certain amount of bats)
Catcher’s gear (it is recommended that you bring your own catcher’s gear)
Transportation to and from the stadium and hotel
Airport Pickup in Yuma
Each player will receive hands-on instruction from professional managers and coaches
The AWL will provide an on-site trainer
Player Stats provided by Pointstreak

Affiliation(s):
Coaches from the Atlantic League, American Association, and the Frontier League are listed as instructors.

Additional Info:
Arizona Winter League FAQs – Official Website.

Registration: 2018 AWL Registration Link

Hudson River League

When:
November 1st – 20th

Where:
Houston, TX

Cost:
$1,250 without housing, $2,000 with housing.

Affiliation(s):
Pecos League

Additional Info:
The Hudson River League is the only affiliated developmental winter baseball league, sponsored by the professional independent Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs.
The Hudson River League is the lowest cost Developmental League starting as low as $1250 per player for three weeks of baseball. At the end of the Hudson River League players will get signed with realistic chances of making clubs they are signed to.

Registration: Register for the Hudson River League on their Official Website. 

 

Pecos League Spring League

When:
March 5th – 28th.

Where:
Houston, TX

Cost:
$1,250 without housing, $2,000 with housing.

Affiliation(s):
Pecos League

Additional Info:
The Pecos Spring League is the only affiliated developmental spring baseball league, sponsored by the professional independent Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs. 
The Pecos Spring League is the lowest cost Developmental League starting as low as $1250 per player for three weeks of baseball. At the end of the Spring League players will get signed with realistic chances of making clubs they are signed to.

Registration: Register for the Pecos Spring League on their Official Website.

“Warning to players about Winter Leagues.” – Pecos League press release.

Puerto Rico Instructional Baseball League

When:
March 4th to April 1st 2018

Where:
Rincón, Puerto Rico

Cost:
Regular Registration: $2,700

Pay in Full: $2,300 (For limited time! Register in full and get $400 off the regular registration rate)

Returning Player Registration: $2,000 (former PRIBL player)

Local Player Registration: $1,000 (players who will not need housing and meals)

Deposit Option: $500 (A deposit will guarantee your roster spot)

What’s Covered:
Lodging from January 7th (Report date) – February 5th (Depart date)
2 Meals per day
Local transportation to & from training facilities for entire length of program. Players are responsible for their own transportation to and from Airport.
Sports Insurance coverage
Includes all instructor fees (MLB Alumni player/coach Instruction)
Each player will receive hands-on instruction from professional coaches who have the ability to sign players to a Professional Contract.
Game action: Up to 25 games scheduled with Puerto Rico AA teams.
Training workshops: These workshops will include financial planning, sports psychology, and mental preparation towards the game, sports marketing, and preparation for the media, toxicology, doping and the life within the sport.
The PRIBL will provide on-site trainers.
Players’ Stats will be provided daily in our website
Documented Scouting Report will be sent by email at the end of the program. Evaluations are also made during camps.
Exposure: MLB Scouts, Major League Staff, Minor League Directors, Minor League player personnel, may visit at any given time. Independent, European and Mexican League representatives will be in attendance or in contact to fill roster spots for the upcoming championship season. Staff is composed of coaches from those leagues.
Uniforms (jersey, hat, belt, socks, workout shorts, and workout shirt)
Equipment (balls, bats, helmets and catcher’s gear all provided)
Locker room facility
Gym Access
All players are provided an equal opportunity to showcase their abilities.

Affiliation(s):
The coaches for the winter league are also coaches in the Empire League and United Shore Pro Baseball League during the summer.

Additional Info:
PRIBL FAQ’s – Official Site

Registration: 2018 PRIBL Registration

South Florida Winter League

When: 
October 28th – November 16th.

Where:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Cost:
$950 without housing
$2,200 with housing

What’s covered:
Games
Housing
Breakfast
Professional Coaching and instruction
Evaluation from managers and scouts from established Leagues with the ability to sign players
Uniforms( jersey hat, bp shirt and shorts players are responsible to bring grey pants)
Transportation for Baseball Activities and airport
If you can bring your own car it’s recommended

Affiliation(s):
Staff listed include managers from the Frontier League and the United Shore League, a coach from the Atlantic League and a pitching coordinator for the Phillies as well as additional “scouts.”

Additional Info:
The League’s Official Website 

Registration: 2017 Fall Camp Registration

Cocoa Expo Pro Winter League

When:
November 2nd – 22nd

Where:
Cocoa, FL

Cost:
$2,750

Affiliation(s):
No official Affiliation

Additional Info:
Winter 2017 will make the 2nd season of the Pro Winter League since our $50 Million restoration/renovation project of the 23 season Houston Astros facility.  Last season’s Winter League over 100 players were evaluated by Scouts and Coaches from MLB, the Frontier League, Canadian League, Japenese League, Pacos League, Atlantic League, Independent League and many others.  More than 30 players were signed and 2 recieved offers from MLB.  This winter 2017 event stands to be even better with more than 300 players expected to attend along with more Scouts and Coaches.

Cocoa Expo’s Professional baseball Winter League is like no other in the U.S. We provide a special setting for Scouts and Coaches to evaluate players unlike other faclities. From our 35,000 sq.ft. training facility that boasts 14 indoor batting cages with 7 video simulated probatter machines, to our 11 professional fields. Scouts and Coaches that are looking to sign players can evaluate you better here than anywhere else and players get more exposure.  In addition everything is provided at one single location.  Players never have to leave the complex.  We provide housing onsite, all meals are included and onsite with our master chef preparing with food displayed and served at our exclusive buffet spread.

Step out of the Rec Hall and Cafeteria and jump right into the 35,000 sq ft. training center that houses $1million in weight equipment, steppers, treadmills, eliptials, climbers and more than 110 stations.  No facility can compare.  At Coao Expo’s Winter League you’ll receive evaluation at our facilities and will have no need to leave.


I’ll admit that I have never heard of the Cocoa Expo Pro Winter League. They state that this is their second year in existence, but I do not personally know any player that attended.

Registration: Official Site and Registration 

 

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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).