MLB to launch Draft League in 2021 in prospect player development initiative

MLB to launch Draft League in 2021 in prospect player development initiative
The plan to modernize player development in the United States marks a new step for the MLB.

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the formation of the MLB Draft League. It will become the first league in the United States focused on top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB clubs the same summer.

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.

The league will involve the communities of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey. A sixth participant may be announced at a later date.

The plan for the season includes a 68-game regular season.

The MLB Draft will move back to July starting with the 2021 season, to be held as part of the All-Star Week.

The announcement follows the late September news about the Appalachian League evolving into the premier college wood bat league in the US as part of MLB's efforts to modernize player development.

MLB also announced that the Pioneer League has been designated as a Partner League, thus transitioning from affiliated status to an independent professional MLB Partner.

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, the American Association and the Frontier League had been designated Partner Leagues earlier this year.

Partner Leagues are to collaborate with MLB to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the Western U.S. and Canada.