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Sports

New Draft League Saves Scrappers, Minor League Baseball for Mahoning Valley

Eastwood Field - Close Overview
Jack W. Pearce
/
Creative Commons
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers have played at Eastwood Field in Niles for 22 years.

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will continue to play ball at Eastwood Field in Niles, thanks to a new venture from Major League Baseball. The Scrappers had been in jeopardy of being eliminated as part of a contraction of minor league baseball.

In conjunction with the scouting agency, Prep Baseball Report, MLB has created a Draft League that will include the Scrappers and five other minor league teams that have longstanding community support. Four of the other teams have been announced. They include the State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, Williamsport Crosscutters and Trenton Thunder. MLB is in advanced discussions with one additional team.

Scrappers’ vice president and general manager Jordan Taylor says players in the new league will compete as amateurs for the first part of the season before the MLB draft in mid-summer.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers' GM Jordan Taylor talks about how the new league is different.

“The difference is if we have a roster of 30 players, say, we may have 1 or 2 Cleveland Indians draft picks, but we may also have a couple of Pittsburgh Pirates or New York Yankees, so it’ll just be a mix of all major league teams draft picks on one roster.”

While the Scrappers will no longer be affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, Taylor says they’re working on some type of partnership agreement with the team.

He credits community and political support for encouraging development of this new league. He anticipates play will begin next June.

The league will play 68 games versus the 76 games the team played as part of the New York-Penn League.