USA Baseball, MLB partner on reformatting Appalachian League

USA Baseball, MLB partner on reformatting Appalachian League
It has operated since 1911 and has been affiliated to Minor League Baseball. It was classified as a Rookie league from 1963 to 2020.

Major League Baseball (MLB) and USA Baseball jointly announced a change of format in the Appalachian League, set to become a part of the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP), a collaborative effort between MLB and USA Baseball that establishes a development pathway platform for some of the best first- and second-year college players in the country.

Appalachian League players will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology.

The future Appalachian League will see the nation's top rising college freshmen and sophomores in wood-bat play during the summer season consisting of 54 games.

The league will be guided by a Steering Committee featuring representatives from Boyd Sports, USA Baseball, Vanderbilt University, MLB, the University of Illinois, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Appalachian League, the Pittsburgh Pirates, UCLA, the Colorado Rockies and Georgetown University.

The Appalachian League players will also receive direction instructions from MLB former players.

The ten teams competing in the Appalachian League will undertake a process of rebranding to incorporate the symbols and images that reflect and resonate with their respective local communities.

Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Economics & Operations, said: "We are thrilled to partner with USA Baseball and the Appalachian League communities to create a one-of-a-kind summer league that will attract the nation’s top collegiate players and allow local fans to see top prospects and future big-league stars in their hometowns."

Mike Gaski, President of USA Baseball, said: "USA Baseball is excited for this unique opportunity to enhance the offerings within the Prospect Development Pipeline through the creation of a premier summer collegiate baseball league."

Dan Moushon, the President of the Appalachian League, said: "The communities of the Appalachian League have supported baseball since our founding in 1911. We are grateful to MLB and USA Baseball for bringing this exciting opportunity to our fans and look forward to welcoming players, coaches, MLB scouts, and fans into our cities next summer."

The Appalachian League operates in the regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee. It was affiliated with Minor League Baseball from 1911 to 2020 and was classified as a rookie league from 1963 to 2020.