West Virginia Black Bears Retain Affiliation with MLB as Founding Member of the Major League Baseball Draft League
The West Virginia Black Bears today announced that they are one of the five teams selected by Major League Baseball to be a founding member of the new "Major League Baseball Draft League."
This new league will be sanctioned by MLB and operated by Prep Baseball Report (PBR), one of the country's biggest and most respected amateur scouting services. Each season, the Black Bears' roster will be filled from draft-eligible collegiate players projected as premium selections in that year's MLB Draft, ensuring Black Bears fans will continue to enjoy high-quality baseball action to go along with the team's popular fan-friendly, fun ballpark experience.
The MLB Draft League is scheduled to have a 68-game schedule with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft, which is now scheduled for July. Joining West Virginia as founding members in the league are the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Trenton Thunder and the State College Spikes. MLB has plans to add a sixth team to the league before play in 2021.
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.
The Black Bears will continue to compete at the award-winning Monongalia County Ballpark. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit the team's official website, WestVirginiaBlackBears.com, or follow the team on social media @WVBlackBears.
Statements on the West Virginia Black Bears Joining the Major League Baseball Draft League
"Today's announcement is wonderful news for the Morgantown Black Bears who provide so many West Virginians with entertainment, family time and foster a love of the American pastime. Supporting our baseball teams has been a priority of mine and I'm pleased to hear we'll have another Major League Baseball affiliated team here in the Mountain State. As the Black Bears transition to the new MLB Draft League, I will continue to stay committed to ensuring that baseball stays in Morgantown. I look forward to seeing the Black Bears thrive in the years to come,"
State Senator Joe Manchin III
"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."
State Senator Shelley Moore Capito
"I am truly excited to hear that the Black Bears will continue in Morgantown as a member of the Major League Baseball Draft League. The Black Bears are an important part of the North Central West Virginia economy and their entire community. I am grateful to Major League Baseball for their commitment to our state, and their recognition of baseball's importance to Almost Heaven West Virginia."
Governor Jim Justice, West Virginia
"On behalf of the Monongalia County Commission, we are thrilled to continue our relationship with the WV Black Bears and MLB. The WV Black Bears have become an integral part of our community. We pride ourselves with a stadium that is considered first class and that is how we feel about the Black Bears organization. This agreement clearly shows your support for our team, our community and minor league baseball. We appreciate your support of the future of minor league baseball and we are excited to be part of your vision."
Tom Bloom, Monongalia County Commissioner
"The Town of Granville is excited to hear that the West Virginia Black Bears will be playing at Monongalia County Ball Park this spring. We have had a wonderful relationship with the Black Bears and they are an important part of the Granville community. The fans will be looking forward to them returning for the 21 baseball season."
Patricia Lewis, Mayor of Granville
"West Virginia University and the West Virginia Black Bears are fortunate to share Monongalia County Ballpark, one of the premier venues of its kind in the country. The Major League Baseball Draft League will bolster that relationship by providing exciting new opportunities for our student-athletes to grow and develop as they aspire to the big leagues. I look forward to joining Mountaineer fans as we cheer on the future stars of baseball getting their start right here in Morgantown."
E. Gordon Gee, President, West Virginia University
"The construction of Monongalia County Ballpark has to be one of the most successful projects for the Morgantown community in the last 10 years. The ballpark continues to provide dividends to our local economy as it was one of the driving forces in the decision to bring a Major League Baseball Draft League team to Morgantown. The future stars of baseball and even potential Hall of Famers will get their start in Morgantown and how great that will be for our community. It will be special for fans one day to see baseball professionals shine in the major leagues and be able to say they saw him play in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have a great relationship with the West Virginia Black Bears and Rich Baseball, and we look forward to continue working with them as they become one of the prestigious inaugural teams of this great new venture."
Shane Lyons, Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President, West Virginia University
• Discuss this story on the Major League Baseball Draft League message board...
Major League Baseball Draft League Stories from November 30, 2020
- State College Spikes Retain MLB Affiliation in New MLB Draft League - State College Spikes
- MLB to launch league for Draft prospects - MLBDL
- Crosscutters Continue Affiliation with Major League Baseball in New MLB Draft League - Williamsport Crosscutters
- West Virginia Black Bears Retain Affiliation with MLB as Founding Member of the Major League Baseball Draft League - West Virginia Black Bears
- Trenton Thunder Join New MLB Draft League for 2021 Season - Trenton Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
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