Earlier this week (July 18th), the Western Association of Professional Baseball (WAPB) sent out a press release stating their intentions to begin play during the summer of 2020.
Indy Ball Island reached out to the league and was able to get a Q & A with Evan Greusel, the Director of Baseball Operations for the WAPB.
Since the league has yet to officially announce details surrounding their upcoming season, Greusel’s answers are vague in some areas, but hopefully the answers that were provided can help readers have a better understanding of the WAPB.
The biggest issue with every new start-up league that has folded has been their finances. Are you confident that this league will have the money behind it to complete the first season and beyond? How is the league being funded?
We have some great people involved that have been part of successful Indy teams and leagues and some that have watched certain teams and leagues fail. I think we have a wealth of knowledge at all levels from guys that played and coached to front office GMs and owners. We already have a league sponsor that had committed to multiple years so we are excited about that.
Who are the main people involved with the running of the league?
We will have announcements and introductions shortly with press releases. But on the website, you can find some of the guys with strong roles.
How many teams will the league have? Do you have any specific cities in mind? And are you looking at stadiums that are already built or are you planning on building your own ballparks?
6-8 in year one. Leases have already been negotiated and signed, so we are excited about that. Most will be current stadiums, but some owners have talked and discussed new ball parks as well.
I don’t want to give away locations yet because we will release 1 team at a time.
(Author’s note: The press release did give potential states for the first season – Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada).
What do you expect the attendance and community support to be like in the cities that you do choose to play in?
Obviously we are hoping for strong attendance eventually, but we know that takes time. We are push hard for advertising in each city to start.
How many players will be on each team? What are you expecting the experience level to be? Are there any age restrictions?
23 players, probably rookie level to guys with big league time. We are hoping the easy travel will attract bigger talent in nice areas.
Are your players getting paid? What type of salaries are you expecting to offer?
Yes, players will be paid. And we have a pretty cool surprise on pay structure for younger players.
What is the housing and travel situation going to be like for the players?
Housing will probably be different from city to city but you can guess the usual – Dorms apartments and host family’s.
What will the schedule be like?
78 game season with 3-4-5 game stands
Will players’ stats be posted on a reputable website (Baseball Reference, PointStreak, etc.)?
Yes, they will.
Do you expect the players to get a fair look from scouts with a chance to move up to affiliated ball?
Yes, I think the locations help that process. We are also going to rely heavily on social media about what players are doing.
Where can interested players or coaches get information on tryouts or available jobs?
We have lots of ties to minor league coaches and coordinators. We will obviously be reaching out to players released during spring training and also be holding a winter camp.
What are your expectations for the league this year and beyond?
To have a successfully run first year and put building blocks in a place for a long run.
Is there anything else you would like to add and let readers know about the league?
Sorry my comments are so vague, but we will have press releases on everything. We are very excited, and I’m putting in a lot of work. This isn’t a one month decision to put on a league. We have been working on this for well over a year to get all the right people in place.
I would like to thank Evan Greusel for taking the time to answer my questions.
Stay tuned to Indy Ball Island and Westernprobaseball.com for more information as it is announced.