The 24th annual Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft will be held on Monday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 26 at The Corn Crib in Normal, Illinois, home of the Normal CornBelters.
All 12 Frontier League teams will be represented at the workouts, and scouts from multiple Major League Baseball teams also attend. Advance registration is available at www.frontierleague.com while walk-up registration will begin at 8:00 AM on Monday, April 25.
The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 25 and will feature a 60-yard dash, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens. Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on April 26. At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs and prepare for the draft.
An average of 40 players each season have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts over the past seven years. Each year, at least one tryout camp participant has appeared in the Frontier League’s All-Star Game. Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, including RHP Chris Jakubauskas, who appeared in 69 MLB games (including 15 starts) over five seasons, and Josh Smoker, who was just added to the New York Mets’ 40-man roster.
“The League tryout and draft provides players who are looking for a serious opportunity in pre-season camps. Year in and out draft picks compete for jobs on opening day rosters. It provides league managers the chance to get a relatively long-term look at potential needs,” said Rascals Manager Steve Brook.
Ten tryout attendees have been signed by MLB clubs during the season over the past four years.
“The Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft is the best way for a player to showcase himself so he can begin or continue his career in professional baseball,” commented Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee. “Our clubs take the workouts very seriously, and each year multiple attendees wind up making key contributions to playoff teams.”
The Frontier League is entering its 24th season in 2016 and features 12 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues; 50 players signed with MLB clubs since the start of the 2015 season, and 27 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.