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Thread: Report: MLB looking to turn New York-Penn League into college wood-bat circuit

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    Report: MLB looking to turn New York-Penn League into college wood-bat circuit

    https://buffalonews.com/sports/baseb...60c376cad.html

    A major reconstruction of the minor leagues is imminent for whenever the 2021 season begins and roughly 40 teams are expected to be contracted, most out of short-season Class A ball.

    But the current plan from Major League Baseball is not simply to dissolve those teams and leave their communities without the game. Instead, many will be transitioned from teams affiliated with MLB organizations to wood-bat leagues filled with college players making the transition from swinging with aluminum.

    According to Baseball America, that's what MLB has in mind for the New York-Penn League. The league that dates to 1939 and once had franchises in places such as Niagara Falls, Jamestown and Olean would feature rising college seniors rather than first-year professionals.
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    Re: Report: MLB looking to turn New York-Penn League into college wood-bat circuit

    It is interesting that the new league will feature rising college seniors. It is further evidence of a strategy by MLB owners.

    It is difficult to assess the potential of players with many development years still ahead of them. To the extent that MLB teams can shift the cost of these development years to others, there is an advantage. By eliminating the high rookie and short season A leagues they hope to reduce the cost of developing players who never reach the major leagues.

    Top HS talent will be drafted. Other HS players will attend college or play in independent leagues. Top college juniors will still be drafted. Lesser college juniors will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability with wood bats and further improve against similarly composed teams.

    Of course, all of this will be coupled with a draft of fewer rounds. This in turn, will affect drafting strategy. Teams will have more visibility into the potential of college seniors, but they still won't have much bargaining power in the draft. Perhaps, teams will be more likely to draft college seniors and realize a savings. It is not clear how other changes will affect the bargaining power of other players drafted. I suspect it will lessen it for all but the clearly elite players.

    The cumulative effect of these changes will likely provide teams with more certainty in player selection and lower development costs for the organization.

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    Kc61 (11-11-2020)


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