Projecting The 2012 Affiliation Shuffle

Here is a look at every minor league team’s Player Development Contract status and a projection of what will happen this offseason when teams are eligible to switch affiliations.

International League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Buffalo Bisons Mets 2012
Could be landing spot for Blue Jays, who are likely leaving Las Vegas after this season to get closer to Toronto.
Charlotte Knights White Sox 2014
As close as ever to landing new ballpark—proposed $74 million downtown facility has a corporate sponsor and financing plan.
Columbus Clippers Indians 2016
Downtown Huntington Park has increased average attendance 11 percent since opening in 2009. Served as a Yankees affiliate from 1979-2007, and the Nationals from 2007-09 before taking on a local affiliation with the Indians.
Durham Bulls Rays 2014
Bulls have had two affiliates since 1980 (Rays/Braves), and aren’t likely to add a third anytime soon. Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which helped kick off the building boom in 1995, has held relatively steady in attendance over the past four years.
Gwinnett Braves Braves N/A*
Franchise still finding footing in suburban Atlanta, as team ranks near bottom of IL attendance despite playing in 3-year-old ballpark.
Indianapolis Indians Pirates 2014
Community-oriented franchise has partnered with the Bucs since 2005. 
Lehigh Valley IronPigs Phillies 2014
IronPigs’ fans love Phillies and Phillies love well-operated Lehigh Valley franchise that has topped the minors in attendance the past two seasons. Philadelphia has ownership stake in franchise.
Louisville Bats Reds 2014
Freitas Award winner has been Reds affiliate since 2000. Attendance has dipped 5.4 percent since Bats topped the IL in 2007 with a 9,210 average.
Norfolk Tides Orioles 2014
Contrary to rumors, Ken Young doesn’t appear to be selling his O’s affiliates in Norfolk, Bowie and Frederick.
Pawtucket Red Sox Red Sox 2014
Too beloved by Peter Gammons and Red Sox fans to change. PawSox’s 39-year affiliation with Red Sox is fourth-longest in the minors.
Rochester Red Wings Twins 2014
Franchise has kicked out losing affiliates before (see Orioles, 2002). Could repeat after losing 90-plus games the past two seasons.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Yankees 2014
New ballpark is (hopefully) on the way for the 2013 season, as are a new name and ownership.
Syracuse Chiefs Nationals 2014
Between Strasburg and Harper, the Chiefs are likely better off after losing out on hosting the Mets four years ago.
Toledo Mud Hens Tigers 2016
Relationship with Tigers dates back to 1987—second-longest in IL. Fifth Third Field has a lot of local flavor, including concession items like fried bologna sandwiches—a fan favorite.
Pacific Coast League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Albuquerque Isotopes Dodgers 2014
Affiliation has worked well since Dodgers returned to their roots from Las Vegas four years ago.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox Rockies 2014
Any concerns about relationship with Rockies were erased when Sky Sox extended PDC with Colorado in January.
Fresno Grizzlies Giants 2014
Giants affiliate since 1998, Fresno has been hit hard by recession: Attendance has dipped 6.2 percent since 2008.
Iowa Cubs Cubs 2016
Change unlikely. Teams have been together since 1981. Iowa rebounded after attendance dipped 10 percent in ’08 amid flooding.
Las Vegas 51s Blue Jays 2012
Change likely. Blue Jays want to move closer to Toronto. 51s still seeking new ownership and a new ballpark.
Memphis Redbirds Cardinals 2012
Change unlikely. Memphis truly is Cardinals country and St. Louis would be challenged to find better facility.
Nashville Sounds Brewers 2012
Change unlikely. Potential for new ballpark makes Nashville an even more appealing market.
New Orleans Zephyrs Marlins 2014
Change possible. Marlins have only been in town since 2009. Franchise spent previous four years with Expos/Nationals.
Oklahoma City RedHawks Houston 2012
Change possible. Astros finishing up second season in town since getting booted out of Round Rock.
Omaha Storm Chasers Royals 2016
Partnership since 1969 is longest in Triple-A. Franchise in second year at new ballpark since leaving historic Rosenblatt.
Reno Aces Diamondbacks 2016
No reason D-backs would want to leave one of the best new venues in minors.
Round Rock Express Rangers 2014
No change coming so long as Nolan Ryan is in charge of Rangers
Sacramento River Cats Athletics 2014
Attendance has dipped 13 percent since ’08 (and 19 percent since 2005), but 8,455 average last year was still among best in minors.
Salt Lake Bees Angels 2014
Bees haven’t won PCL title in 32 years, including the past 11 with Angels.
Tacoma Rainiers Mariners 2014
Just 35 miles from Safeco Field, renovated Cheney Stadium (which first opened in 1960) is like new.
Tucson Padres Padres 2012
Future of franchise in question, as Tucson is not likely its final landing spot after being displaced two years ago from Portland, Ore. Team is owned by Jeff Moorad, whose future with the Padres may be in question since stepping down as CEO in March.
Eastern League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Akron Aeros Indians 2012
Why local affiliations matter: Just 40 miles separate the Aeros’ Canal Park and Progressive Field, and the Aeros  have been an Indians affiliate since debuting in 1989.
Altoona Curve Pirates 2014
Original Curve owner Bob Lozinak bought the team back from Churck Greenberg in December 2008. Unfortunately, the Greenberg/Todd Parnelll brainchild “Awful Night” is no longer on the Curve promotion calendar.
Binghamton Mets Mets 2016
Guessing B-Mets’ future depends on who you believe: Team is either in town for the long haul or making a run for the border.
Bowie Baysox Orioles 2014
Another strong local affiliation, though the Baysox would like an upgrade on Prince George’s Stadium, which is just 32 miles from Camden Yards.
Erie SeaWolves Tigers 2014
Erie set attendance records as a New York-Penn League franchise but has been among the EL’s worst draws since joining the league in 1999.
Harrisburg Senators Nationals 2014
What a difference a new ballpark makes, as attendance has spiked 69 percent at Metro Bank Park in three seasons since renovation. Ballpark has one of best views in the minors, except when Susquehanna River floods the island ballpark.
New Britain Rock Cats Twins 2014
Twins have been in town since 1995, but this venerable franchise begins a new era under new ownership this season and could be looking for a change.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats Blue Jays 2014
Blue Jays have been successful during eight years in Red Sox country, but will Toronto stick around if opportunity arises in Ottawa?
Portland Sea Dogs Red Sox 2014
New England partners seem made for each other, and the replica Green Monster in left field would seem to all but assure a lifetime affiliation with Sox. 
Reading Phillies Phillies 2014
Oldest ballpark in Eastern League may also be the league’s best venue to see a game. R-Phils put on a show every night, including local celeb Crazy Hot Dog Vendor.
Richmond Flying Squirrels Giants 2014
As the ballpark turns . . . Imagine what Chuck Domino/Todd Parnell could do with a new ballpark. Imagine them leaving if they don’t get one.
Trenton Thunder Yankees 2022
Mercer County Waterfront Park’s proximity to Yankee Stadium gives the Thunder arguably the best rehab starts in minors, and Trenton fans have reliably supported the Thunder for years regardless.
Southern League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Birmingham Barons White Sox 2014
New downtown ballpark set to open next season will be the league’s first since 2004 (Montgomery). It may also be one of the last minor league stadiums financed solely with public money.
Chattanooga Lookouts Dodgers 2014
Had been a Reds affiliate for 10 years before Dodgers came to town in 2009.
Huntsville Stars Brewers 2012
Joe Davis Stadium is the oldest facility in SL, but change seems unlikely. Stars have been a Brewers affiliate since 1999.
Jackson Generals Mariners 2012
This is one of the least attractive outposts in Double-A, but Mariners might not have significant incentive to move. Seattle isn’t going to get much closer to home without minor league realignment.
Jacksonville Suns Marlins 2012
Spent eight years as a Dodgers affiliate before switching to Marlins in 2009. Attendance down 18.7 percent over past three seasons.
Mississippi Braves Braves *N/A
Trustmark Park, built in 2005 for $28 million, may be the best public-private partnership model for Braves’ newest project in Wilmington, N.C.
Mobile BayBears Diamondbacks 2014
Few teams have taken as much pride in BA Minor League Team of the Year honors as Mobile did last year. Attendance has held steady past three seasons.
Montgomery Biscuits Rays 2014
Biscuits logo stirs strong emotions in BA office: Some love it, others place it among worst in minors.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos Reds 2016
Reds completing their second season with this franchise, though the first in Pensacola after it moved from North Carolina following last season.
Tennessee Smokies Cubs 2014
Smokies Park still holds up since opening in 2000 as a state-of-the-art facility built for just $19 million. Tennessee hosts SL all-star game this year.
Texas League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Arkansas Travelers Angels 2012
An Angels affiliate since 2001. Dickey Stephens Park overcame early sinkhole problems since opening in 2007, but has seen attendance dip 18 percent since debut.
Corpus Christi Hooks Astros 2016
Nolan Ryan-owned franchise not switching to Rangers because of strong base of Astros’ fans in the area.
Frisco Roughriders Rangers 2014
Roughriders have topped the Texas League in attendance every season since 2005, when Round Rock moved up to the PCL.
Midland RockHounds Athletics 2014
Change unlikely, A’s affiliate since 1999. Smallest market in TL does well in high school football-mad Midland (think Friday Night Lights).
Northwest Arkansas Naturals Royals 2016
Affiliation with Royals, which the franchise extended in April, dates back to 1995 when the franchise was in Wichita and is the longest-running in the TL.
San Antonio Missions Padres 2014
Last TL franchise to change affiliations in 2007; only team in league with ballpark built before 2000.
Springfield Cardinals Cardinals *N/A
Hit hard by recession as average attendance has dipped 23 percent since 2008. Has stressed more concession bargains this season.
Tulsa Drillers Rockies 2014
League’s newest ballpark has totaled 745,349 fans since debuting in 2010. Attendance up 8 percent last season, one of two TL teams to see increase in 2011.
California League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Bakersfield Blaze Reds 2012
Often the last franchise standing in the affiliation shuffle because of deteriorating Sam Lynn Park, Bakersfield may finally get its much-needed new ballpark under new ownership.
High Desert Mavericks Mariners 2012
The Mariners have been in town since 2007. The franchise has yet to extend its lease at Mavericks Stadium. A rumored move to Chico has stalled due to a lack of funding for a new ballpark.

Inland Empire 66ers Angels 2012
Finishing first tour with the Angels after four-year partnership with Dodgers came to an end after the 2010 season.

Lake Elsinore Storm Padres 2014
Relationship is a good fit for both sides, as well-run Lake Elsinore franchise will benefit from deep Padres system.
Lancaster JetHawks Astros 2012
Change possible. Astros have been in town since 2009, but new ownership may not be enchanted with most hitter-friendly park in the minors.
Modesto Nuts Rockies 2014
Longtime manager Jerry Weinstein may have moved on to the big leagues, but Modesto’s eight-year run with the Rockies will continue at least another two seasons.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Dodgers 2012
Rancho dropped its longtime affiliation with the Angels to sign on with the Dodgers two years ago. It saw average attendance increase 3.4 percent in second year under Brett Sports ownership.
San Jose Giants Giants *NA
While the Giants try to protect their turf in San Jose from the Athletics, the Cal League’s steadiest franchise has drawn more than 200,000 fans for three consecutive seasons.
Stockton Ports Athletics 2014
Banner Island Ballpark isn’t actually on an island, but it is arguably most scenic in the Cal League. A’s have enjoyed the setting since 2005.
Visalia Rawhide Diamondbacks 2016
Change from the Diamondbacks after six years is unlikely, if for no other reason than limited Cal League alternatives. However, the Diamondbacks have expressed concerns about the lighting at recently renovated Recreation Ballpark.
Carolina League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Carolina Mudcats Indians 2014
The Mudcats are in their first year as an Indians affiliate after replacing Kinston in the Carolina League, which is a better geographic fit for the franchise outside Raleigh, N.C.
Frederick Keys Orioles 2014
The Keys withstood a bid by the Atlantic League to take their place in Frederick last offseason and will be staying put at Harry Grove Stadium after resolving lease issues.
Lynchburg Hillcats Braves 2014
Next year could be the Hillcats’ last in Lynchburg as the Braves partner with Mandalay Baseball in an attempt to build a new ballpark in Wilmington, N.C. Braves have committed to bring a replacement to Lynchburg (though likely not a CL franchise) as part of the deal.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Rangers 2014
Chuck Greenberg locked up a long-term deal with the Rangers before Nolan Ryan forced him out in Arlington. Average attendance has dipped 7 percent since 2008.
Potomac Nationals Nationals 2014
Much-needed renovations to Pfitzner Stadium, including a new field drainage system, have helped heal the relationship between P-Nats owner Art Silber and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo.
Salem Red Sox Red Sox *NA
Boston so desperately did not want to risk returning to the Californa League after spending two seasons in wind-swept Lancaster that it bought the Salem franchise in 2008.
Wilmington Blue Rocks Royals 2014
Change unlikely. After a frustrating two years as a Red Sox affiliate from 2005-06, the Blue Rocks are happy to be back with Royals, with whom they had spent the previous 12 seasons.
Winston-Salem Dash White Sox 2014
The Dash are getting their money’s worth out of $45 million BB&T Ballpark, as Winston-Salem has drawn 619,716 in first two years. The ballpark, whose opening was delayed a year due to financing problems, is the most expensive at the Class A level.
Florida State League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Bradenton Marauders Pirates *NA
Can Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon give Bradenton fans Pirates fever? The team averaged 1,507 fans in its second season last year—an 83 percent increase from 2010.
Brevard County Manatees Brewers 2014
The two sides been together since 2005. The franchise has thrived over the past three seasons, as average attendance has increased 44 percent since 2008 to 1,491 last season.
Charlotte Stone Crabs Rays 2012
Change not happening. The Stone Crabs have topped the FSL in attendance since debuting in 2009 and Charlotte Sports Park is the league’s best new ballpark.
Clearwater Threshers Phillies *NA
Bright House Field is one of the great venues in the minors. Tiki bar in center field packs fans in—even when the team isn’t playing.
Daytona Cubs Cubs 2012
Cubs have maintained their affiliation in Daytona since 1993 in spite of spring base in Arizona.
Dunedin Blue Jays Blue Jays *NA
Average attendance spiked 13.5 percent last season—all the way to 654.
Fort Myers Miracle Twins 2012
Twins and always-creative Miracle have been together since 1993. Come get your Obama and Romney bobbleheads when the Bobblelection promotion returns to Hammond Stadium on Aug. 30.
Jupiter Hammerheads Marlins *NA
If you hadn’t heard, Roger Dean Stadium will host World Baseball Classic qualifying this fall.
Lakeland Flying Tigers Tigers *NA
New logo and ballpark improvements still don’t bring out the fans. Tigers averaged just 954 fans last season—besting only Dunedin in the FSL.
Palm Beach Cardinals Cardinals *NA
Cardinals share the busiest ballpark in the minors with Jupiter.
St. Lucie Mets Mets *NA
The Mets are down to one Florida-based team after pulling out of the Gulf Coast League.
Tampa Yankees Yankees *NA
Proposals to sell the team to 20-something Florida businessman Armando Gutierrez Jr. and move the franchise to Orlando have lost steam.
Midwest League (Low A)
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Beloit Snappers Twins 2012
Beloit has been a Twins affiliate since 2005. A far cry from recent, big-market additions to MWL, Beloit averaged just 1,030 fans last year.
Bowling Green Hot Rods Rays 2014
Rays stuck it out with franchise in Columbus, Ga., before it moved to new Bowling Green ballpark in 2009.
Burlington Bees Athletics 2012
Signed on with A’s two years ago after the Royals ended a 10-year affiliation for Kane County. Burlington’s Community Field is one of quaintest venues in the minors.
Cedar Rapids Kernels Angels 2012
Kernels have been an Angels affiliate since 1993. Cedar Rapids franchise and community is still recovering from devastating 2008 flood.
Clinton Lumber Kings Mariners 2012
Lumber Kings are finishing their fourth year with the Mariners. Don’t let newly renamed Ashford University Field’s age fool you—the 85-year-old ballpark has gone through many renovations and now includes a party deck and two other group-seating areas.
Dayton Dragons Reds 2012
Dragons have sold out every game since debuting in 2000 but must remain a Class A franchise as part of the deal to play in Cincinnati’s shadow.
Fort Wayne TinCaps Padres 2012
Fort Wayne has been a Padres affiliate since 1999. What a difference a new ballpark makes: Fort Wayne averaged just 3,720 in the final year of its old ballpark in 2008 but averaged 5,612 in third year at Parkview Field last season.
Great Lakes Loons Dodgers 2014
Dow Diamond, built in 2007, features a 17-by-35-foot video board that is powered by 168 solar panels.
Kane County Cougars Royals 2012
The Cougars are finishing second year with the Royals after eight seasons as an Athletics affiliate. Consistent runner-up to Dayton in MWL attendance.
Lake County Captains Indians 2014
Captains are in their third year in MWL since realigning from the South Atlantic League with Bowling Green. The suburban Cleveland franchise, which plays just 17 miles from Progressive Field, has been an Indians affiliate since debuting in 2003.
Lansing Lugnuts Blue Jays 2014
With Tigers in West Michigan, Blue Jays are next-best geographic fit for the franchise located just an hour from the Canadian border.
Peoria Chiefs Cubs 2012
Change possible for the Cubs affiliate since 2005, as other geographic fits for Cubs are available in the area. Peoria has been hit hard by the recession; attendance has sagged nearly 35 percent since 2008.
Quad Cities River Bandits Cardinals 2012
Change not likely, as the franchise has blossomed since Main Street Baseball took over ownership following the 2007 season. Average attendance has increased 56 percent at flood-proof Modern Woodmen Park over the past four seasons.
South Bend Silver Hawks Diamondbacks 2012
Silver Hawks and Diamondbacks have been together since 1997, but will South Bend’s new ownership have other plans? Attendance is down 25 percent at Coveleski Stadium since 2007.
West Michigan Whitecaps Tigers 2014
What could be better than a Tigers affiliation in Michigan? The steady franchise averaged 5,569 fans in 2008 and 5,561 last season.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Brewers 2016
Few things in minor league baseball beat a local affiliation, as Timber Rattlers attendance has spiked 22 percent in their first three years as a Brewers affiliate.
South Atlantic League (Low A)
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Asheville Tourists Rockies 2012
Asheville has been a Rockies affiliate since the big league club debuted in 1994—and Joe Mikulik has been coaching ‘em up almost as long.
Augusta GreenJackets Giants 2014
Ripken Baseball-owned franchise is pushing for a new downtown ballpark to replace 17-year-old Lake Olmstead Stadium.
Charleston RiverDogs Yankees 2016
Yankees fans are everywhere, so an affiliation with New York can be almost as lucrative as a local one.
Delmarva Shorebirds Orioles 2014
The Dylan Bundy Effect? Average attendance at Perdue Stadium was up 25 percent over the first two months compared to last year.
Greensboro Grasshoppers Marlins 2012
Change unlikely in mutually beneficial relationship: Marlins get a great ballpark, Grasshoppers host defending Sally League champs.
Greenville Drive Red Sox 2016
Much like Double-A Portland, Fenway-modeled ballpark has been key to franchise’s success.
Hagerstown Suns Nationals 2012
After nearly losing franchise to Winchester, Va., the movement for a new ballpark in downtown Hagerstown has gained steam. Nationals extended PDCs with each of their affiliates before the season except the Suns.
Hickory Crawdads Rangers 2014
Change is possible, though the Crawdads have been a Rangers affiliate since 2007 after spending eight years with the Pirates.
Kannapolis Intimidators White Sox 2014
The White Sox have already locked up all of their full-season affiliates for the next two years.
Lakewood BlueClaws Phillies 2014
South Jersey is Phillies’ country, and the BlueClaws have been a Phillies affiliate since debuting in 2001.
Lexington Legends Astros 2012
Legends have been with Houston since debuting in 2001 but have seen attendance dip 15 percent since 2007.
Rome Braves Braves * N/A
One of three affiliates owned by the Braves (who may add a fourth in Wilmington, N.C.). Rome’s attendance has dropped 30 percent since debuting in 2003.
Savannah Sand Gnats Mets 2012
New ballpark needed. Playing at 81-year-old Historic Grayson Stadium, Savannah averaged just 1,963 fans last season—second-fewest in the league.
West Virginia Power Pirates 2014
The Redneck Night promotion on May 26 included Cowboy Monkey Rodeo and Redneck Wedding.
New York Penn League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Aberdeen IronBirds Orioles 2012
The Cal Ripken-owned franchise has been an O’s affiliate since its 2002 debut. The Dayton Dragons of the NYP, Aberdeen has sold out every game.
Auburn Doubledays Nationals 2014
One of the NYP’s oldest teams plays in one of the minors’ smallest markets; averaged just 1,424 fans last season.
Batavaia Muckogs Cardinals 2012
Saved from extinction by neighboring Rochester Red Wings four years ago. Muckdogs hosted six “Empire State” Yankees games this season.
Brooklyn Cyclones Mets *N/A
NYP’s top draw last season. Would Jay-Z be interested in owning a Brooklyn dynasty?
Connecticut Tigers Tigers 2014
Short-season has been a better fit for the market since the Eastern League team moved to Richmond after 2009 season.
Hudson Valley Renegades Rays 2012
Franchise has been a Rays affiliate since 1996, two years after it moved from Erie, Pa. Did you know Dutchess Stadium was built in just 71 days and that “Rene Gade” may be one of the best mascot names in the minors?
Jamestown Jammers Marlins 2012
A Marlins affiliate since 2002, the Jammers have struggled at the gate of late. Average attendance is down 20 percent since 2008.
Lowell Spinners Red Sox 2014
Lowell has been a Red Sox affilate since its 1996 debut. Bad weather contributed to a 14.7 percent dip in average attendance last year. When in Lowell, check out the all-you-can-eat pregame barbecue.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers Indians 2014
Indians affiliate located just 65 miles from Progressive Field has been with Cleveland since its 1999 debut.
State College Spikes Pirates 2012
Chuck Greenberg-owned franchise has unique partnership with Penn State and plays in LEED-certified Medlar Field.
Staten Island Yankees Yankees 2012
New York Yankees sold their stake in the team to Connecticut-based partnership of financial investors. The team will remain a Yankees affiliate.
Tri-City ValleyCats Astros 2012
Freitas Award winners put on a great show, complete with five mascots, and have been an Astros affiliate since 2002 debut.
Vermont Lake Monsters Athletics 2014
A new affordable lease and ballpark renovations should keep the franchise in town for the long term.
Williamsport Crosscutters Phillies 2014
A Phillies affiliate since 2007. In a league full of old ballparks, Williamsport’s 89-year-old Bowman Field is the oldest.
Northwest League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Boise Hawks Cubs 2012
The Hawks, which have been in the NWL since 1978, have been a Cubs affiliate since 2001. The most intriguing menu item at Memorial Stadium: the Hawkzilla, double-cheeseburger topped with roast beef and cheese.
Eugene Emeralds Padres 2012
A Padres affiliate since 2001. The league’s newest ballpark, PK Park debuted in 2010 and neighbors Autzen Stadium on the University of Oregon campus.
Everett Aquasox Mariners 2014
A Mariners affiliate since 1995. You either love or hate the team’s unique frog logo.
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Giants 2014
A Giants affiliate since debuting in 1997, Volcanoes have won five league titles—including three in the past six years.
Spokane Indians Rangers 2014
A Rangers affiliate since 2003. Indians alternate logo features team name written in Salish, the native language of the local Spokane Tribe of Indians.
Tri-City Dust Devils Rockies 2012
A Rockies affiliate since 2001 when the franchise returned to the NWL after a 16-year absence. Tri-City set attendance records each of the past five seasons.
Vancouver Canadians Blue Jays 2014
The power of a local affiliation: average attendance spiked nearly 5 percent in first year with Blue Jays last season.
Yakima Bears Diamondbacks 2012
Bears will be on the move to the Portland suburb of Hillsboro next season.
APPALACHIAN LEAGUE
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Bluefield Blue Jays Blue Jays *N/A
The Blue Jays jumped on the opportunity to add a seventh affiliate when the Orioles ended their 43-year relationship with Bluefield after the 2010 season. If you had ever been planning a trip to Bluefield, this is the year to go—Toronto has filled its Appy League club with prospects.
Bristol White Sox White Sox *N/A
Pete Rose Jr. returns for second season as Bristol manager.
Burlington Royals Royals 2012
Did you know: Burlington Athletic Stadium was originally built in Danville, Va., but was dismantled and reconstructed in Burlington in 1958?
Danville Braves Braves *N/A
Just Dan-dy: Legion Park is nestled along the Dan River in Dan Daniel Memorial Park. The Braves claim on their team Website to have the “prettiest scenery in all of minor league baseball.”
Elizabethton Twins Twins *N/A
The longest relationship in the Appalachian League, the Twins have been in Elizabethton since 1974.
Greeneville Astros Astros *N/A
The runaway Appy League attendance leader in 2011, the Astros averaged 1,364 fans, the only team to reach quadruple-digits.
Johnson City Cardinals Cardinals *N/A
Break up the Johnsons. Cardinals have won past two Appy League championships, yet averaged just 752 fans last season—second-fewest in the league.
Kingsport Mets Mets *N/A
Mets are back for their 33rd season in the league after rumors of them pulling out this offseason proved untrue. They nixed their Gulf Coast League affiliate instead.
Princeton Rays Rays *N/A
The West Virginia community constructed Hunnicutt Field in just five months in 1988 for the Pirates, who stayed in town just two seasons.
Pulaski Mariners Mariners 2012
The Mariners joined the Appalachian League when the Blue Jays pulled out of Pulaski before the start of the 2007 season.
Pioneer League
FRANCHISE AFFILIATE PDC EXPIRES
Billings Mustangs Reds 2014
Longest affiliation in the league dates back to 1974. Average attendance has risen 15 percent since Dehler Park opened in 2008.
Grand Junction Rockies Rockies N/A
Rockies owners Charles and Richard Monfort purchased the franchise and relocated it from Casper, Wyo., to Grand Junction, Colo., in the offseason. Poor field conditions had soured the Rockies’ final years in Casper.
Great Falls Voyagers White Sox 2014
A White Sox affiliate since 2003. The field at Centene Stadium was built as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps project.
Helena Brewers Brewers 2014
Helena has been a Brewers affiliate since returning to the PL in 2003 after a three-year absence. Kindrick Field, built in 1939, is one of the minors’ oldest ballparks, and the Brewers averaged just 986 fans last year—an 11 percent increase from 2010.
Idaho Falls Chukars Royals 2014
Idaho Falls has had the longest continuous run in the Pioneer League, dating back to 1946. The Chukars have been a Royals affiliate since 2004, the last time a team in the PL swapped affiliations.
Missoula Osprey Diamondbacks 2014
The Osprey have been a Diamondbacks affiliate since returning to Pioneer League in 1999 after a 39-year absence. Fans who bike to Ogren Park on Tuesdays can purchase 2-for-1 tickets.
Ogden Raptors Dodgers 2014
Ogden has topped the league in attendance since Lindquist Field debuted in 1997 and was the only PL team to average more than 3,000 fans last season.
Orem Owlz Angels 2014
An Angels affiliate since debuting in 2001. Average attendance increased 26.5 percent last season after dipping 14 percent in 2010. Team officials would like everyone to refer to their ballpark exclusively as “Home of the Owlz”
* Minor league franchise owned by major league affiliate

Minors | #2012 #Business Beat

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