The 26th annual Frontier League Tryout Camp and Draft will be held on Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24 at UC Health Stadium in Florence, Kentucky, home of the Florence Freedom. The Joliet Slammers along with all 11 other Frontier League teams will be represented at the workouts.
“I look forward to the Frontier League tryout each year,” Joliet Slammers Manager Jeff Isom said. “We are always looking to add quality players to our roster. Last year we took Brian McKenna and he finished the season with a 2.45 ERA, pitching 36 innings and striking out 33. I value these tryouts because I want to have my eyes on a player before I sign them. We have had a lot of success taking players out of tryouts. Many of them have come to play for our club and had success and even ended up getting signed with MLB teams.”
In addition to Frontier League representatives, scouts from multiple Major League Baseball teams will attend. Representatives from other independent leagues participate as well. Advance registration is available at www.frontierleague.com/tryouts while walk-up registration will begin at 8:00 AM on Monday, April 23.
The workouts officially begin at 9:00 AM on April 23 and will feature a 60-yard dash, fielding and throwing drills for infielders, outfielders, and catchers, and batting practice for position players while pitchers will throw 15-20 pitch bullpens. Following the first day, the field managers will post a list of players invited back for inter-squad games on April 24. At the conclusion of the games, action will break for 30 minutes as clubs and players prepare for the draft.
An average of 35 players each season have been drafted and signed to spring training contracts over the past eight years. Each year, at least one tryout camp participant has appeared in the Frontier League's All-Star Game. Several draftees have gone on to be signed by Major League Baseball organizations, with three draftees having ascended to the Major Leagues (Chris Jakubauskas, Seattle/Pittsburgh/Baltimore; Josh Smoker, New York Mets; and Chris Smith, Toronto). Eleven tryout attendees have been signed by MLB clubs during the season over the past six years.
“Florence is a great location for our Tryout Camp and Draft, and we had strong results the two previous times that the Freedom have hosted,” commented Deputy Commissioner Steve Tahsler. “Home to the 2017 West Division champions, UC Health Stadium is a top-notch facility and easily accessible from I-71/75 along with being just 15 minutes from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport”.
The Frontier League is entering its 26th season in 2018 and features 12 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues. Over 100 players have signed with MLB clubs since the start of the 2015 season, and 32 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.
UC Health Stadium is located at exit 180 off I-71/75 in Kentucky, about 12 miles south of downtown Cincinnati. For more information, please visit www.frontierleague.com or contact the Frontier League offices at 618.215.4134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: As per the manufacturer's warranty for the artificial playing surface at UC Health Stadium, all players trying out must wear turf shoes or molded cleats. No metal cleats will be allowed. This policy is the same that is in effect for all events at UC Health Stadium. Players attempting to enter UC Health Stadium with metal cleats will be immediately disqualified from the workouts. In addition, there is a strict NO SEED policy at the stadium, and all tryout hopefuls, and fans watching, are not permitted to bring seeds into the facility.