NILES, Ohio (WOIO) - The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will still be affiliated with Major League Baseball, but not the Cleveland Indians, starting in 2021.
The Scrappers are one of at least 5 teams that will be founding members of the MLB Draft League.
The new league, created by MLB and Prep Baseball Report (PBR) will focus on top college prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB teams that summer.
The move allows the Scrappers to retain their MLB affiliation after they were announced in 2019 as one of 42 minor league teams MLB was looking to cut.
The Scrappers played in the New York-Penn League and were the Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Indians.
Other teams in the league include the State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, Williamsport Crosscutters and Trenton Thunder. In a press release, MLB said they are in advanced talks with a sixth team.
“We appreciate the opportunity to continue our affiliation with Major League Baseball in the brand new MLB Draft League,” Jordan Taylor, HWS Baseball Vice President and General Manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, said. “The partnership will ensure our community will get the opportunity to watch the future stars of Major League Baseball for years to come.”
Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber Foundation President Guy Coviello called the new league “wonderful news for the community.”
Coviello said the Scrappers bring in $4.2 million to the Mahoning Valley every year.
The Draft League is set to have a 68-game regular season with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft.