The California Winter League and the Frontier League will be working together for the fifth consecutive season this upcoming February, this year as exclusive partners for the first time. The CWL is the only instructional showcase league that will be sending players to the Frontier League in 2019 and 2020.
“Frontier League teams have had great success finding talent in the California Winter League during the past four seasons, and we are excited to be expanding our relationship with the CWL now being the Exclusive Winter League of the Frontier League for the 2019 and 2020 seasons,” commented Frontier League deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler, who is on-site for the duration of the CWL season. “The past four seasons have had either our Rookie of the Year or runner-up come out of the California Winter League, along with multiple All-Star and league champion players, and eight players who have moved from the CWL to the Frontier League to a MLB organization.”
The Midwest-based league has currently committed four team representatives to act as instructors and coordinators for the showcase league that takes place in Palm Springs, CA during the months of February and March. Each of the ten Frontier League teams has designated two spring training roster spots exclusively for California Winter League players. In addition, Frontier League Deputy Commissioner Steve Tahsler is on hand for the entire California Winter League season as a liaison for those clubs not directly represented.
The confirmed representatives are as follows:
- Boots Day (Evansville Otters)
- Casey Dill (Southern Illinois Miners)
- James Frisbie (Gateway Grizzlies)
- Cameron Roth (Lake Erie Crushers)
Members of the CWL staff also include current MLB scouts and managers from other major independent leagues.
Over 40 players from the 2018 California Winter League signed with Frontier League clubs, including All-Stars Jacob Wark (Florence Freedom) and Jack Landwehr (Normal CornBelters). CWL players who are offered a Frontier League contract report to spring training with their team. The Frontier League does not count CWL players against spring training roster spots, meaning that players will not be forced out of a contract due to a numbers crunch.
“Each Frontier League contract offered is a firm commitment from the team to the player that every player under contract will receive the same opportunities to compete for starting roles during spring training. Since 2015, the only CWL players who were released by Frontier League teams prior to the start of spring training were released due to violations of league or team
Policy. Basically CWL players who get signed can expect a full spring training camp with their Frontier League team barring injury or stupidity,” said Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee.
The Frontier League is the longest-running independent professional baseball league in the United States. Since the league’s inception in 1993, 36 players have gone on to play in the major leagues. In the first four seasons since entering an agreement with the California Winter League, the Frontier League has signed 137 players directly out of the league.