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State College Spikes ‘Saved’ Through Creation Of New MLB Draft League

Although their future looked bleak at one point, the State College Spikes aren’t going away anytime soon.

The local minor league baseball club will be a founding member of Major League Baseball’s new MLB Draft League, according to a press release published Monday morning. The new association will be the first of its kind to focus on showcasing top baseball prospects eligible to be drafted by MLB clubs that summer.

The Spikes will join the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Trenton Thunder, West Virginia Black Bears, and Williamsport Crosscutters as the league’s five founding members. According to the release, the MLB is in “advanced discussions” with a potential sixth team.

“The new format affirms MLB’s commitment to the region and assures that communities of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey will continue to host high-caliber baseball and future Major Leaguers for years to come,” the league said in a statement.

Plans for the league include a 68-game regular season and an All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft. Prep Baseball Report will provide support for the league’s staffing, operations, and administrative needs.

“We are thrilled to partner with Prep Baseball Report and the founding members of the MLB Draft League to create a one-of-a-kind league that will attract the nation’s top players who are eligible for each year’s MLB Draft and allow local fans to see top prospects and future big-league stars in their hometowns,” said Morgan Sword, the MLB’s executive vice president of baseball economics and operations. “This announcement continues MLB’s commitment to preserving and growing baseball in communities around the United States.”

The league’s creation comes after the MLB pushed its 2021 draft back to July, giving prospects and teams more time before selection day. At this time, it’s unclear if the Draft League would continue after 2021.

The Spikes’ future was in doubt earlier this year when the club was listed as one of 42 ballclubs at risk of becoming unaffiliated with the MLB in 2021 under its newly proposed Professional Baseball Agreement. Community members quickly launched a #SaveOurSpikes campaign to try and help keep the Spikes in State College.

Originally an affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Spikes moved to State College in 2006 and remained there ever since as the Class A Short Season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The club’s 2020 season, now its final, was ultimately canceled over the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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