CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today applauded Major League Baseball (MLB) and Prep Baseball Report (PBR) in their announcement of a new format for the New York/Penn League, which will feature MLB-draft eligible players. One of the founding members of this league will be in Morgantown.
“The Black Bears being able to keep playing baseball is great news for all of West Virginia. It goes without saying that Morgantown offers so many assets, from the facilities, existing partnerships with the community, and wonderful fans who enjoy watching baseball on West Virginia summer nights. When it was announced that the Black Bears were rumored to be on the list to be eliminated as an MLB affiliate, I worked constantly to make sure we had a suitable way to be able to keep playing baseball and this opportunity allows them to do so,” Senator Capito said.
The MLB Draft League will consist of five teams, which will be primarily made up of teams from the former NY/Penn League. The League is in advanced discussions with a sixth team and hopes to announce in the coming weeks. Plans include a 68-game regular season with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft. MLB Draft League participants will receive unprecedented visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology, and educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes. PBR will provide support for the league’s staffing, player and coach recruitment, on-field operations, and administrative functions. PBR will also use their media and technology platforms to promote the league and its players throughout the season.
This league will be the first in the country focused on top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB Clubs that summer. With the 2021 MLB Draft moved back to July and being held as part of All-Star Week, draft-eligible players will have a unique opportunity to showcase their abilities and gain exposure to MLB Clubs and fans next summer. The new format affirms MLB’s commitment to the region and assures that communities of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey will continue to host high-caliber baseball and future Major Leaguers for years to come.
Click here for more details on the announcement.
West Virginia has been home to four Minor League Baseball affiliated teams. Earlier this year, Senator Capito announced that two of those teams were joining the MLB and Baseball USA-supported Prospect Development Pipeline to enable baseball to continue in Bluefield and Princeton. It is the hope that a similar league or partnership will enable baseball to continue to be played in Charleston as well.