Where do young baseball phenoms go?
When a star baseball player graduates from high school, they have two choices in pursuing their baseball career:
1. Get drafted to play pro baseball. If they’re drafted, and sign a minor league contract, they generally play in a Short-Season A-League team for a couple of years. Then they either advance to Single-A baseball or poof, they are sent home to start a different career.
2. Play college baseball. If a player commits to play college baseball, then he cannot be drafted until after his third college season. If he is then drafted, he’ll play in Single-A or Double-A baseball. Major League Baseball scouts typically recommended to CPL teams college players they want to see more of.
In the Coastal Plain League’s 20 year history, more than 1400 players have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams. That’s about 70 players per year. The quality of play is generally regarded at Single-A level.
Recent CPL grads include 2011 Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander and Gold Glove winners and All-Stars Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Zimmerman.
Former Super Bowl MVP Russell Wilson also played in the league prior to being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.
The teams recruit players that are primarily from the Southeastern part of the United States including players in the ACC, SEC and Sun Belt Conferences. However, since the Coastal Plain League is one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country, players also come from all over the country including Texas, California, Oregon and the Northeast.
The Macon Bacon will be managed by Danny Higginbotham. Players and coaches can contact Danny at [email protected].
The popularity of the Coastal Plain League
Major League scouts peg the quality of play of The Coastal Plain League as similar to Single-A Baseball. Fans, however, equate the League as entertaining baseball where young phenoms are chasing their dreams.
WHEN THEY PLAY
This isn’t like the endless 70 home games that a Single-A baseball team plays where there is sometimes a 14-game homestand. In the Coastal Plain League, each team in the league plays 26 home games and 26 road games for a total of 52.The season starts in early June and ends by August 15.
THE POPULARITY OF THE TEAMS
The popularity of the Coastal Plain League is evidenced by three of its teams ranking in the top 15 in attendance in the entire country (out of more than 300 teams) including #2 in the country, the Savannah Bananas.
Savannah is an interesting case of a market that was abandoned by Minor League Baseball due to a lack of local support and has become hugely successful in the Coastal Plain League.
The previous affiliated team averaged fewer than 1500 people per game over their last five years in Savannah. The owners believed that old Grayson Stadium was outdated and no longer fan friendly. So, they packed up and left Savannah without baseball.
The Bananas, while playing in the same Grayson Stadium, set a Coastal Plain League record for attendance in their first season in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, the Bananas second year, they sold every single ticket to every single game and have now sold out 64 straight regular season games.
The Coastal Plain League was founded over 20 years ago in 1997. The league is currently a 15 team league made up of teams in four southeastern states. Macon will be the 16th team, starting in June, 2018.
|Asheboro Copperheads||Asheboro, NC|
|Edenton Steamers||Edenton, NC|
|Fayetteville Swamp Dogs||Fayetteville, NC|
|Florence Red Wolves||Florence, SC|
|Forest City Owls||Forest City, NC|
|Gastonia Grizzlies||Gastonia, NC|
|High Point-Thomasville HiToms||Thomasville, NC|
|Holly Springs Salamanders||Holly, NC|
|Lexington County Blowfish||Lexington, SC|
|Martinsville Mustangs||Martinsville, VA|
|Morehead City Marlins||Morehead, NC|
|Peninsula Pilots||Hampton, VA|
|Savannah Bananas||Savannah, GA|
|Wilmington Sharks||Wilmington, NC|
|Wilson Tobs||Wilson, NC|