Major League Baseball will test experimental playing rules and equipment initiatives in the Atlantic League beginning in 2019, part of a three-year partnership with the independent circuit. In addition, the agreement will lead to MLB installing tracking technology at all eight of the Atlantic League’s ballparks.
Along with rules governing the transfer of players from the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) to MLB, the new agreement includes rights for MLB to implement changes to Atlantic League playing rules in order to observe the effects of potential future rule changes and equipment. MLB will work with ALPB to modify the experimental playing rules and equipment each season during the agreement.
MLB also will enhance its scouting coverage of the Atlantic League, installing radar tracking technology in the eight Atlantic League ballparks and providing statistical services to ALPB clubs.
“We are excited to announce this new partnership with the Atlantic League,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. “We look forward to bringing some of the best ideas about the future of our game to life in a highly competitive environment.”
“The Atlantic League prides itself on innovation,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “In that spirit, our Board of Directors, led by Chairman and Founder Frank Boulton, enthusiastically and unanimously approved this forward-looking agreement.”
Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League will announce the experimental playing rule and equipment changes for the 2019 ALPB Championship Season in the coming weeks.