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From today’s Sunday Globe ...

The Cape Cod Baseball League is not under the umbrella of MLB’s “One Baseball” system but will continue to receive some of its funding from MLB through a grant request.

But instead of primarily competing with Team USA for players, the CCBL will have to contend, at least to some degree, with two MLB-affiliated prospect leagues.

The Appalachian League, once a rookie-level pro league, is now a wood-bat amateur summer league for incoming college freshmen and sophomores. There’s also a new six-team MLB Draft League for draft-eligible high school and college players.

The new amateur leagues will play in professional-level ballparks and have professional-level coaching and umpiring.

But commissioner Eric Zmunda sees the CCBL remaining a destination for the best rising college juniors.

“Ultimately, as always, it’s up to the college coaches as to the best fit for their athlete,” he said. “I feel the coaches nationwide know that the Cape is the best place for their player.”

The Cape has tradition on its side and is a favorite stop for scouts. But its long-term future will be tied to improving its facilities.

** The dream is free. Work ethic sold separately. **

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The MLB-sponsored leagues have a long ways to go. Just take a look at the Appy League list of names thus far; clearly not the most competitive summer league this year! Most kids had already signed elsewhere by the time the league was formed.

I think this new model will work quite well going forward. It (Draft League) keeps the majority of players who didn't sign as juniors out of Cape Cod the following season, thus opening it up for more underclassmen. Appy should provide a competitive home for freshmen (not this year) so they don't clutter up CCBL.

Only time will tell.

Last edited by ABSORBER

Cape Cod has significant convenience from a travel point of view.  A scout can travel to any game within a short time if centrally located.   The league may need to stagger game times to allow a scout to see more players in a single day, but that seems like something they should have already been doing.  The fields have data to track pitches and I assume some hitting data.  Playing surfaces are solid high school quality but some parks are smaller than desired.  The quality of Appy league fields are not that great overall and the travel seems less than convenient for all involved. 

How much of the propping up of former minor league fields / league circuits is a political band aid by MLB that is going to be ripped off in two to three years.  Granted if MLB tells players to go to specific leagues then they will probably listen if it gets them the looks they need.  It will be interesting to see how it works out. 

Hopefully, it is a working solution for all that have lost minor league baseball.

@Suds posted:

Doesn't look to much of a challenge to the Cape at this point.  When you compare the names, especially of the P5 players, most have little to no playing time.  The Cape rosters will be loaded with starters and major contributors.

I agree. The names I recognized aren’t top of the roster guys. 9 players from Missouri and 8 from Illinois.......so appears to be a developmental league that certain schools are buying into.

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