A new Frederick (Md.) team will be added to the 2023 Atlantic League lineup, as the owner of the MiLB Draft League Frederick Keys will field two teams in Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium for the season.
Dropped from the league lineup in 2023: The Wild Health Genomes, which had been playing out of Lexington under ownership of Andy Shea and the Lexington Legends. This offseason saw the Legends, the Genomes and Wild Health Field sold to real-estate developers Nathan and Keri Lyons.
The new Frederick club will be owned and operated by Keys owner Attain Sports and Entertainment. Led by owners Greg Baroni, Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner, and Richard Roberts, President and General Partner, Attain Sports and Entertainment also owns the Bowie Baysox (Double-A; Eastern League).
“We’re excited to join professional baseball’s premier MLB Partner League,” Baroni said via press release. “With two teams based in Frederick, there will be a tremendous amount of entertainment provided at Harry Grove Stadium in 2023 and we can’t wait to get started. And, as we look to the future, we’re continuing to work on providing all constituent stakeholders with a new and improved stadium.”
“The Atlantic League is very pleased to welcome our new partners in Frederick, Maryland,” said Atlantic League president Rick White via press release. “They are fine operators with excellent reputations and will make outstanding members of the ALPB.”
“The City of Frederick is excited by the move from Attain Sports and Entertainment to acquire Atlantic League membership and bring another baseball club to Frederick,” said City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor via press release. “Attain Sports and Entertainment has exhibited a commitment to bring the highest quality baseball back to Frederick and we’re looking forward to continuing this partnership.”
The question is how long the two-team Frederick arrangement continues, a decision with ramifications for the six-team MLB Draft League. The MLB Draft League is a hybrid 80-game league, playing half the season with collegiate players and half with preprofessionals. The Keys will play a full 80-game MLB Draft League schedule, while the new Atlantic League will play 48 home games. This arrangement is not expected to last past this season, leaving the lineup of the 2024 MLB Draft League in question. (There will be a lot of leagues reevaluating lineups when MLB subsidies end.)
The announcement of the new team comes with the release of the 2023 Atlantic League schedule. For the first time, the Atlantic League utilized the Minor League Baseball Scheduling Group from Johns Hopkins University to develop the 2023 ALPB schedule. The Scheduling Group utilizes JHU students and professors in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics in the Whiting School of Engineering and as well as the Information Security Institute.
“Thanks to our friends at Johns Hopkins for developing the schedule for our 25th anniversary season,” White said. “Their work spanned several months, but ultimately, they created nearly 20 schedule iterations in only two weeks to accommodate the fast-moving discussions with Attain Sports and Entertainment. They did an outstanding job.“