“Since our partnership with Cleveland began, we have had nothing but positive interaction with our parent club,” said Hillcats President Chris Jones. “We are proud to continue this relationship, and play a role in helping these young players reach the Major Leagues with the Indians. We always anticipated a PDC extension, and the news already heightens our excitement for the 2019 season.”
The Hillcats are currently in their final season of a four-year PDC with the Indians that was signed prior to the 2015 season. Since that time, seven players have come through Lynchburg to reach the big leagues with Cleveland, including Eric Haase (2018), Shane Bieber (2018), Perci Garner (2016), Adam Plutko (2016), Bradley Zimmer (2017), Greg Allen (2017), and Francisco Mejia (2017).
“We are pleased to announce our continued partnership with the Lynchburg Hillcats,” said Cleveland Indians Director of Player Development James Harris. “The Lynchburg community is a great fit for developing our players both on and off the field. Our players and staff have enjoyed working in Lynchburg, and we want to thank the ownership, Elmore Sports Group, for their contributions in making the Hillcats a first-class operation.”
Lynchburg has qualified for the playoffs in each year of their first four years of the Indians affiliation, as well as seven straight seasons. The Hillcats won the Mills Cup Carolina League Championship in 2017 as a Cleveland affiliate, and have won eight overall for the second-most in Carolina League history.
You can read more about the current state of affiliations on our Affiliate Dance page. We expect a number of player development contracts to be renewed in the coming week, but there are always intriguing openings at every level of baseball. As you can see on the Affiliate Dance page, we’re now at the point where MLB and MiLB teams can search for new affiliation options, so there’s always a shuffle of sorts at the end of the season.