The Players & The League

Where do young baseball phenoms go?

Justin Verlander in the Coastal Plain League

Verlander in MLB

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.

Russell Wilson

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.

Macon Baseball 2018 will be managed by Danny Higginbotham.  Players 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 28 home games and 28 road games for a total of 56.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.

Baseball returned to Savannah in 2016 and it was oh-so much fun.

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, the Bananas second year, they sold every single ticket to every single game and have now sold out 33 straight regular season games.

THE TEAMS

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teams City
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