FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – The Frederick Keys have lost their affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles, according to a report from Baseball America. This move comes, as Major League Baseball scales back its minor league system; cutting ties with 42 teams.
According to a statement from the organization, the Keys will move along with Major League Baseball’s new MLB Draft League, becoming the sixth member of the league.
“We are ecstatic to have Frederick continue to be a gateway to the Majors in the all-new MLB Draft League and cannot wait for another season of Keys baseball,” said Keys President and Owner Ken Young in the statement. “Frederick is such a wonderful community with tremendous fans and support. Over the years the Keys have been one of the best drawing franchises in the Carolina League and we very much appreciate that commitment from the greater Frederick area.”
The Frederick Keys will bolster a league already established with; the Trenton Thunder, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes, West Virginia Black Bears, and Williamsport Crosscutters.
As part of the new MLB Draft League, it will feature a regular 68-game season that will run from late May to mid August; with an annual All-Star break, centered around the MLB Draft. Players will have a unique opportunity to show off their talents, and gain exposure from MLB clubs, and fans.
With this move, the Keys end their 31-year relationship with the Orioles. The Orioles will now have four minor league teams: Norfolk, Bowie, Aberdeen and Salisbury (Delmarva).