The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), the nation’s most progressive independent league, has had the contracts of 42 of its players purchased by MLB or international organizations this year through the halfway point in the season. In comparison, last year 55 ALPB players were signed during the entire season.
Although ALPB clubs are unaffiliated, the League and MLB work through a unique agreement governing the transfer of players to Major League teams. This spring, the Atlantic League became the first independent league to enter into a relationship with Major League Baseball, formalizing the process under which its players’ contracts could be sold to MLB organizations.
“The Atlantic League showcases an exceptionally high-quality on-field product,” said Rick White, President of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. “We are the stepping stone for many talented young players and veterans to advance to the highest level of competition in the Major Leagues.”
Among the recent former Atlantic League players currently in the Majors are Houston Astros pitcher Scott Kazmir, 31, who started 14 games in 2012 with the Sugar Land Skeeters before signing with the Cleveland Indians for the 2013 season. During his time with the Skeeters, he rediscovered the pitching mechanics that made him an elite pitcher. On July 24, former York Revolution pitcher Ian Thomas earned a win in his first major league start with the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets. Thus far this year, the York Revolution have seen nine of their players sign with Major League organizations.
“If a player gets cut or fails to make a big league roster, their dream does not have to end,” said ALPB Executive Director of Baseball Operations Joe Klein, who spent decades in MLB front offices. “Years ago that may have been the case, but the talent pool these days is immense and it takes some players longer than others to reach their full potential. The Atlantic League affords these players the opportunity to hone their skills at a high level of competition.”
About The Atlantic League
The Atlantic League is considered the most innovative league in professional baseball, offers the highest level of minor league baseball playing skills, and is a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Its players are highly experienced professionals, having progressed through professional baseball’s developmental levels (A, AA, AAA). Over 40% of all Atlantic League players have Major League service time. Like MLB, Atlantic League clubs pay their players to win baseball games, not to apprentice as in baseball’s developmental levels. The following teams play in the Atlantic League: Bridgeport Bluefish, Camden Riversharks, Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, Somerset Patriots, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Sugar Land Skeeters, and York Revolution.
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