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Frequently Asked Questions About the Williamsport Crosscutters Move to the MLB Draft League

What league do the Williamsport Crosscutters now play in?
The Williamsport Crosscutters, along with a number of other former New York-Penn League teams (and others) are now be part of the MLB Draft League featuring draft-eligible players from across the United States projected as premium selections in the MLB Draft. The league is run by Major League Baseball and their partner Prep Baseball Report (PBR).

Why did the Crosscutters change leagues?
The contract between MLB and Minor League Baseball expired on September 30, 2020. With that, MLB sought to decrease the number of Minor League teams from 160 to 120 and realign leagues and affiliations. By cutting down on the number of teams, Major League Baseball hopes to see an improvement to minor league facilities, which would improve the development of their players, and a geographic reorganization that would reduce costs and time of travel for the players.

Are the Crosscutters still affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies?
Under the new system, the Crosscutters are not affiliated with any particular MLB team.

What team ARE the Crosscutters affiliated with?
The Cutters are affiliated with Major League Baseball as a whole, not any specific team. Our players are eligible to be drafted by ANY Major League Club.

What other teams are in the league?
The league consists of six founding members; the Trenton Thunder (formerly of the Double-A Eastern League), Frederick Keys (formerly the Class-A affiliate of the Orioles), Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears and Williamsport Crosscutters (all formerly of the New York-Penn League).

How many games will be played and when will the season start and end?
The length of the season is very similar to past years, but starts about 2 weeks sooner (early June) and ends Labor Day weekend. A total of 80 games will be played in 2022 (40 home/40 away).

How will players and coaching staff for the team be chosen?
Players and coaching staffs will be assigned to teams in the MLB Draft League by Major League Baseball and Prep Baseball Report. The 2022 season will be split into two halves. The first half runs from June 2 until July 16 and features amateur, draft-eligible players following a similar format to 2021. Following a mid-season break that coincides with the MLB Draft and MLB All-Star Game. The second half, beginning July 22, will feature professional players who have exhausted their amateur eligibility or otherwise wish to begin their pro careers.

When does the MLB Draft take place?
The MLB Draft, previously held in early June, has now been moved to mid-July and will take place during MLB All-Star Weekend.

Will these players still play in the Major Leagues?
Absolutely! Many of our players will be drafted by MLB Clubs. They will follow much the same timeline as our former players on their way to the Major Leagues. In fact, it’s expected that an even greater number of former Cutters will eventually play in the Major Leagues than in the past.

What can we expect as far as the level of play?
The level of play is roughly the same or even better than that of the NYPL.

Is the team still be called the Williamsport Crosscutters?
YES. We are still the Williamsport Crosscutters with the same branding, same ownership group led by Principal Owner & President Peter Freund, & the same front office staff (including Rhashan of course).

What differences should we expect when we come to a game?
In a word, NOTHING. The same fun, affordable family entertainment you’ve come to expect from the Cutters in the past remains including our usual mix fireworks shows, giveaways and memories-making experiences. The only difference you may notice is that instead of a Phillies patch on their shoulders, our players feature an MLB logo patch.

Have more questions? We are here to help. Email us at [email protected] or call the Cutters Hotline at (570) 326-3389.