As the minor league baseball season has ended, and MLB’s season winds down, here are three player development agreements between Major and Minor league affiliates that have been reached:
NATIONALS SIGN TWO-YEAR PDC WITH AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS OF THE SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
NATIONALS NEW NY-P LEAGUE AFFILIATE NOW JUST 35 MILES FROM SYRACUSE
The Washington Nationals yesterday announced the signing of a two-year Player Development Contract with the Auburn Doubledays of the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League. Nationals President Stan Kasten, Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone and Director of Player Development Doug Harris made the joint announcement.
“We are delighted to add Auburn to the Nationals’ family,” said Kasten. “This agreement again narrows the footprint of our minor-league system, and starting next summer, Auburn and the Doubledays’ fan base will get their first glimpse at the rewards reaped from both our scouting and player development systems.”
The Nationals have again compacted the geographical footprint of its affiliates. By partnering with Auburn, the Nationals’ NY-P League affiliate is now closer to the Nation’s Capital, and just 35 miles west of Syracuse, the Nationals’ Triple-A International League affiliate.
"We are excited to join the Nationals' family of affiliates,” said Doubledays CEO Tom Ganey. “We look forward to working with the minor league staff in Washington and once again teaming up with our neighbors in Syracuse to develop the next generation of Major League players."
The Doubledays currently play in 2,706-seat Falcon Park, which opened 1995 and includes arguably the best home clubhouse in the NY-P League. The team is named after Abner Doubleday, the Civil War general and Auburn, NY native who has often been credited with inventing the game of baseball.
The Doubledays—whose run of six consecutive Pinckney Division titles (2002-07) was capped by a NY-P League championship in 2007—recently ended a working relationship with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Luis Gonzalez, Aaron Hill, Kenny Lofton and Rick Dempsey are among those who enjoyed playing stints in Auburn during their minor-league careers.
The Nationals’ seven affiliates went 384-381 (.502) this season to register their third consecutive winning campaign. Washington’s affiliates went 380-378 (.501) in 2009, and 432-405 (.516) in 2008. Last week, the Single-A Potomac Nationals won their second Carolina League championship in three years. In the last month, the Nationals renewed their affiliations with the Syracuse Chiefs, Harrisburg Senators (Double-A Eastern League) and Potomac.
ASTROS EXTEND PDC WITH TRI-CITY
NY-Penn League Champions to Remain Astros Class A Affiliate through 2012
The Houston Astros announced on Monday that the club has extended its Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Short-Season Class A Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League. The two-year extension continues the affiliation between the Astros and the Tri-City club through the 2012 season. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Ed Wade.
“We’re excited and extremely pleased that our relationship with the ValleyCats has been extended for an additional two years,” said Wade. “The ownership and management at Tri-City are outstanding. We play in a beautiful facility there, and our players are given every opportunity to continue their development in a first-class, state-of-the-art, fan-friendly environment. This is a great partnership for Tri-City and the Houston Astros.”
The ValleyCats became the Astros Short-Season Class A affiliate in 2002 and, in 2010, won their first New York-Penn League Championship. For the seventh consecutive season, the ValleyCats set a new attendance record, drawing 155,315 total fans to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2010, with an average of 4,314 per game.
ASTROS ANNOUNCE TRIPLE A PDC WITH OKLAHOMA CITY
Houston returns to OKC for first time since 1972
The Houston Astros and the Oklahoma City RedHawks also announced on Monday that the Astros will be returning their Triple A affiliation to Oklahoma City. The Astros were the original Major League Baseball affiliate of the Oklahoma City Triple A franchise from 1962 through 1972 and with over 150 games available in 2010 for broadcast; it gives the franchise a strong presence and fan base in the Oklahoma City market. This return of the Astros, together with last week’s introduction of Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC (MBP) as the new owner of the RedHawks, brings great expectations and anticipation for the future of RedHawks baseball.
“We are very excited to have our Triple A affiliation coming home to Oklahoma City,” said Astros owner Drayton McLane. “There’s a rich tradition of baseball in Oklahoma City, with strong ties to the Astros, so we expect great things in Oklahoma City.”
Tal Smith, Astros President of Baseball Operations added, “Oklahoma City is a perfect fit for our Triple A affiliate and we are looking forward to working alongside our new partners at Mandalay Baseball, one of the premier owner/operators in Minor League Baseball, to bring a new level of energy and excitement to the RedHawks franchise.”
Art Matin, MBP’s CEO and President, commented, “We are thrilled to have the Astros returning to Oklahoma City as the RedHawks’ affiliate. The combination of the close proximity to Houston, fan base and history of the Astros in Oklahoma City, TV coverage, other opportunities to draw a connection between the Astros and the RedHawks, and the success the Astros have enjoyed under Drayton McLane’s ownership, make the Astros the logical Major League Baseball affiliate for the RedHawks. We anticipate a long and mutually rewarding relationship between the RedHawks and the Astros.”
Members of the leadership team of the Astros will be joining representatives of MBP at the RedHawks Reception in the Venetian Ballroom at The Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22nd.
The Astros are currently enjoying late season success, in large part due to their player development system, which has graduated 12 rookies to the Major Leagues over the last two seasons.
The current Astros core group of players, which have produced the third-best record in the Major Leagues since the All-Star Break, are looking to continue a tradition of winning in Houston since McLane purchased the franchise in 1993. From 1993 to 2009, Houston ranked third in the National League and sixth in the Majors in winning percentage and has been to the playoffs six times, which included deep playoff runs in 2004 and the 2005 World Series appearance.
While the Astros strive to be champions on the field, an equal goal of the organization is to make a positive difference in the community. The club strives to achieve this through, among others things, their Astros in Action foundation, which has served in thousands of local projects and events, working to strengthen the community, while dispersing close to $5.0 million throughout the Houston region since 2000. The Astros winter caravan is another important project for Houston and its affiliates, showcasing current players, coaches and Astros legends at community events throughout the region, which include stops at affiliate ballparks including Oklahoma City in 2011.
About Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC – MBP is a national owner/operator of Minor League Baseball franchises. MBP currently owns and/or operates:
- Dayton Dragons (Single A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds)
- Erie SeaWolves (Double A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers)
- Frisco RoughRiders (Double A affiliate of the Texas Rangers)
- Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple A affiliate of the Houston Astros)
- Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
- Staten Island Yankees (Single A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
MBP has also played a major role as lead consultant with the Winston-Salem Dash (Single A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) on the 2010 opening of their new $42M dollar BB&T Bank Ballpark, which was recently named “Ballpark of the Year” by Ballparks.com
Sources: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros
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