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Arts & Culture

Morgantown Black Bears To Join Special Draft League

West Virginia Power Baseball in Charleston, W.Va.
Eric Douglas
/
Minor league baseball in West Virginia is still up in the air. Pictured are the West Virginia Power in 2019.

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Monday that the minor league Morgantown Black Bears will become part of the organization’s professional draft league.

MLB and Prep Baseball Report (PBR), who will run the program, said the league will feature players who could be drafted by major league teams.

The MLB Draft League will consist of five teams mostly made from the former New York-Penn League. MLB officials said Monday that the new draft league could include a sixth existing team, which they hope to announce soon.

Plans include a 68-game regular season with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft.

PBR will provide support for the league’s staffing, player and coach recruitment, on-field operations and administrative functions. PBR will also promote the league and its players throughout the season.

By moving the 2021 MLB Draft to July and creating an ‘All-Star Week,’ MLB executives and West Virginia officials, who praised the news Monday, say that draft-eligible players will have a unique opportunity to showcase their abilities and impress fans next summer.

Executives for MLB announced earlier in the summer that minor league teams in Bluefield and Princeton will ditch their names and logos to join the Appalachian League, part of the league’s ‘Prospect Development Pipeline’ for recruiting from young college athletes.

The fate of the minor league baseball team in Charleston is still unknown.


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