There are months remaining in the 2018 baseball season, but changes for the 2019 campaign are already taking shape. A handful of teams have already announced plans to rebrand effective 2019, providing some intrigue about the new names that could be introduced in the coming months.
The current Buies Creek Astros (High A; Carolina League) are planning to adopt a new name to coincide with their move to a new ballpark in downtown Fayetteville next year. Five finalists for the new name—Fatbacks, Fly Traps, Jumpers, Wood Dogs, and Woodpeckers—were unveiled last summer, and it is anticipated that the team’s name will be revealed in the coming months.
In one of the changes that could generate significant buzz when it is announced, the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will adopt new branding for 2019 and beyond. The change in identity will coincide with a move to the new Las Vegas Ballpark, a facility currently under construction in Downtown Summerlin.
As it undertakes a series of franchise shifts, Elmore Sports Group is planning to change the branding for a few of its teams. The current San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) will adopt a new identity with their move to a downtown Amarillo ballpark. The finalists for that name are Boot Scooters, Bronc Busters, Jerky, Long Haulers, and Sod Poodles, with a winner expected to be announced this fall.
When the Class AA Missions leave for Amarillo, they will be replaced in San Antonio by the current Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). Colorado Springs, meanwhile, will receive a short-season club in the form of the Helena Brewers (Rookie; Pioneer League).
The result is that the Sky Sox branding will be retired, as Colorado Springs’ new Pioneer League team will adopt a different name. A name the team sweepstakes was unveiled earlier this month, with a new name to be announced this fall.
Another branding announcement to watch comes out of High Point, where an independent Atlantic League team will begin play in 2019. Three finalists for the club’s name were recently announced, including Dragon Claws, Rockers, and Splinters. The yet-to-be-named team will play its games at BB&T Point, a new ballpark currently under construction in downtown High Point.
With time remaining in the 2018 season, we could see a few more rebranding announcements before the year concludes. Even if that does not prove to be the case, however, this slate of upcoming new branding announcements should provide plenty of news over the offseason and build anticipation for the 2019 campaign.
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