There will, however, be big changes for the season: The MLB Draft League will play an 80-game season, with 40 home games. For the teams once participating in the NY-Penn League, that represents more home games than played during the affiliated era. Last season MLB Draft League teams played 34 home games, and 38 home games in the NY-Penn League era.
The 2022 season will be split into two halves, with the first half set to begin on Thursday, June 2, and concluding on Saturday, July 16. The first half will feature amateur, draft-eligible players and will follow a similar format to the 2021 season.
Following a midseason break to coincide with the MLB All-Star Break, the second half will run from Friday, July 22, and conclude on Tuesday, September 6, with the MLB Draft League’s first Championship Game. The second half will feature professional players who have exhausted their amateur eligibility or otherwise wish to begin their professional careers. The MLB Draft League will be the first league in the country with this hybrid amateur-professional format, and the league is in communication with the NCAA to ensure athlete eligibility requirements are met.
“We are excited to announce the 2022 schedule and the expanded format for the MLB Draft League,” said MLB Draft League President Kerrick Jackson. “The inaugural MLB Draft League season enjoyed overwhelming success, both in terms of fan support and on-field success. More than 90 players from the 2021 Draft League were drafted or signed professional contracts, providing fans in each community with the same high-caliber baseball and access to future Major Leaguers that they have enjoyed throughout their teams’ history.”
“We are excited to have more regular season home game opportunities than ever before to bring fun, affordable family entertainment to fans across Happy Valley,” said State College Spikes General Manager Scott Walker. “All of us at the Spikes are looking forward to even more memorable days and nights at the ballpark with our deer friends, and the 2022 MLB Draft League season can’t get here soon enough.”
“We are thrilled to announce the schedule for the 2022 season today,” said Thunder President and General Manager Jeff Hurley. “The 2022 season is going to be bigger and better than ever as we unveil new and improved in-game entertainment and promotions to make the Thunder Experience the best in Minor League Baseball. Thunder fans are going to experience Big League Futures while having Major League fun at the ballpark.”