Hillsboro Hops, Eugene Emeralds Join MLB Professional Development League

As Major League Baseball revamps the minor league systems and structure, two Oregon-based teams added more games as affiliates of MLB teams.

The Hillsboro Hops signed a 10-year agreement with the league. Hillsboro and the Eugene Emeralds become official High-A teams in the High-A West.

The Hops and Emeralds were selected among 120 teams to join MLB’s new Professional Development League system.

“As part of this new agreement with MLB, there will be upgraded facility standards, which will lead to improvements at Ron Tonkin Field that will be announced at a later date,” the Hops said in their press release. “MLB and its Professional Development League teams like the Hops, will also collaborate on national marketing and broadcasting opportunities.”

In the Hops release, they refer to it as Single-A Advanced. The Hops spent the last eight campaigns as the Arizona Diamondbacks Short-Season A affiliate. They continue as a D-Backs affiliate, now elevated to High-A.

“Signing this agreement with Major League Baseball is a landmark day for our franchise,” Hillsboro Hops President KL Wombacher said, per the release. “From greater investments in our facilities to partnering with MLB on national marketing and broadcast opportunities, this new partnership will truly be major league.”

Wombacher also spoke with our John Canzano about the promotion for the Hops on Friday.

As for the Emeralds, they signed with the San Francisco Giants to become their new Advanced-A affiliate back in December.

“We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities. In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”

The High-A West consists of the Everett AquaSox (Mariners), Spokane Indians (Rockies), Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels), Vancouver Canadiens (Blue Jays) and the Hops and Emeralds.

Also, Mariners fans the team’s affiliates include:

  • Triple-A, West Division: Tacoma Rainiers
  • Double-A, Central Division: Arkansas Travelers
  • High-A, West Division: Everett AquaSox
  • Low-A, West Division: Modesto Nuts

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