Florida Rookie League

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Florida Rookie League

Founded 2017

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Level Rookie

Countries USA (Florida) Usa.png

No. of teams 20

Most recent champions Jacksonville Beach Ravens (MIN)

Most titles (2) Jacksonville Beach Ravens (MIN)

The Florida Rookie League (FRL) is a professional baseball league that operates in the state of Florida, in the United States. As the name suggests, it plays at the rookie level within the Bull Baseball Leagues and each of the teams are affiliated with a Bull League parent club. All of the teams are located in various cities across Florida.

The league began as a winter rookie league in 2017 but was reorganized into a regular spring/summer scheduled league commencing with the 2018 season.

The league champion is determined at the end of every season.

History

The FRL began as a winter league in 2017, playing a 62-game schedule from mid-January until the end of March. The inaugural regular season, 2017, started on January 16, ended on March 22.[1] The 20 teams were divided into two divisions of ten teams each.

During the summer of 2017, the league reorganized into a summer league intended for international prospects and younger draftees to gain baseball experience before moving up to Short Season A or A level.

As a rookie league, the teams are normally rostered with players acquired in a recent draft, or as a first professional league for international amateurs and international complex (scouted) young players.

Structure and season

The FRL was created from the remnants of the former winter league version of the FRL, which ran from January to March in 2017. The current structure has the league's 20 teams divided into an Atlantic Coast League (ACL) and a Gulf Coast League (GCL), which are essentially conferences within the FRL. Each league is further divided into two divisions of five teams each.

The divisions are named for Hall of Fame Bull League players. The ACL has the Carl Simms and Chuck Provost divisions, while the GCL has the Chris Felix and Iron Arm divisions. The divisions are not grouped geographically, but the two leagues split the state roughly down the middle, with ACL teams based in cities up and down the Atlantic coast, but including Orlando, while the GCL includes the Gulf Coast cities.

The teams play an 84-game schedule which begins in mid-April, and ending in mid-July, and each team will play each other team either 8 or 12 times. The schedule is a "split season" format, meaning the standings at the half (after 42 games) determine the playoff contenders for the first round of the playoffs, with the standings for the second half determining the playoff contenders for the second round of the playoffs.

Championship and interleague play

At the end of the season, a three-round playoff is held to determine the FRL World Series championship team. The league plays a split season format, so the division winners of the first half, if different from the division winners from the second half, must go through a best-of-three playoff to determine who will advance from each season half.

The first half champions and the second half champions play for the WS title.

There is no all-star game in the rookie league.

Current teams

Atlantic Coast League
Division Team Affiliation City
Carl Simms Daytona Beach Freedom Washington Freedom Daytona Beach, FL
Hollywood Cowboys Arizona Cowboys Hollywood, FL
Jupiter Brawlers Boston Brawlers Jupiter, FL
Miami Motorheads Detroit Motorheads Miami, FL
Orlando Tidals California Tidals Orlando, FL
Chuck Provost Ft. Lauderdale Nomads Toronto Nomads Ft. Laurderdale, FL
Jacksonville Beach Ravens Minneapolis Ravens Jacksonville Beach, FL
Key Largo Oxen Ohio Oxen Key Largo, FL
Vero Beach Metros Montreal Metros Vero Beach, FL
West Palm Beach Dragons New York Dragons West Palm Beach, FL
Gulf Coast League
Division Team Affiliation City
Chris Felix Clearwater Hops Milwaukee Hops Clearwater, FL
Ft. Myers Deputies Dallas Deputies Ft. Myers, FL
Largo Pit Bulls Chicago Pit Bulls Largo, FL
Treasure Island Devil Rays St. Petersburg Admirals Treasure Island, FL
Sarasota Inferno Calgary Inferno Sarasota, FL
Iron Arm Lakeland Salts Seattle Salts Lakeland, FL
Ocala Sharks Norfolk Sharks Ocala, FL
Pensacola Speeders Nevada Speeders Pensacola, FL
Tallahassee Storm Miami Storm Tallahassee, FL
Tampa Iron Pigs Rimouski Fighting Moose Tampa, FL

Champions

Championship wins by team

Wins Team (Affiliate) Championship years
2 Jacksonville Beach Ravens (MIN) 2019—2020
1 Miami Motorheads (DET) 2018

League Rules

Florida Rookie League Rule Summary
Level Rookie
Designated Hitter Yes
Roster limit No limit
Age range Max. 23 yrs
Disabled list 7 days
Pro time limit None

As the league is intended for international amateur prospects to begin their baseball journey, the maximum age for players on FRL rosters is only 21. Players drafted from high school may be assigned to rookie-level, but college draftees will generally be too old.

References

  1. Florida Rookie League Opens Today, New GMs Announced. Bull Baseball League website. http://bullleague.org/league-news/florida-rookie-league-opens-today-new-gms-announced/. 16 January 2017. Accessed: 15 February 2017.