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New Draft League Saves Scrappers, Minor League Baseball for Mahoning Valley


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will continue to play ball at Eastwood Field in Niles, thanks to a new venture from Major League Baseball. The Scrappers had been in jeopardy of being eliminated as part of a contraction of minor league baseball.

In conjunction with the scouting agency, Prep Baseball Report, MLB has created a Draft League that will include the Scrappers and five other minor league teams that have longstanding community support. Four of the other teams have been announced. They include the State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, Williamsport Crosscutters and Trenton Thunder. MLB is in advanced discussions with one additional team.

Scrappers’ vice president and general manager Jordan Taylor says players in the new league will compete as amateurs for the first part of the season before the MLB draft in mid-summer.

“The difference is if we have a roster of 30 players, say, we may have 1 or 2 Cleveland Indians draft picks, but we may also have a couple of Pittsburgh Pirates or New York Yankees, so it’ll just be a mix of all major league teams draft picks on one roster.”

While the Scrappers will no longer be affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, Taylor says they’re working on some type of partnership agreement with the team.

He credits community and political support for encouraging development of this new league. He anticipates play will begin next June.

The league will play 68 games versus the 76 games the team played as part of the New York-Penn League.

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A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.