HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) - The Hillsboro Hops announced Friday a 10-year Professional Development League agreement with Major League Baseball.
MLB's Professional Development League replaces the prior organization of affiliated minor leagues.
“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," said Rob D. Manfred Jr., Commissioner of MLB. "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 Hops were picked to be one of 120 teams to participate in the new system. The agreement follows the invitation in December by the Arizona Diamondbacks for the team to be their Single-A Advanced affiliate.
“Signing this agreement with Major League Baseball is a landmark day for our franchise,” said Hillsboro Hops President KL Wombacher. “From greater investments in our facilities to partnering with MLB on national marketing and broadcast opportunities, this new partnership will truly be major league."
The Hops will now play 132 games in the regular season, which is scheduled to run from April to early September. The team previously played 76 games.
The future is now (immediately in April🤞) for more games (132) to be #AllHoppedUp after @HillsboroHops get promoted to Single-A Advanced affiliate under a new 10-year agreement with @MLB @Dbacks @wombokl @fox12oregon https://t.co/cRdfwzf7OK pic.twitter.com/jUPUDdNIWO— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) February 12, 2021
The team says there will be a higher level of talent, with players likely to stick around longer in Hillsboro.
As part of the new agreement, the team says facilities will be upgraded and improvements will be made at Ron Tonkin Field. Those improvements will be announced at a later date.
More information about the schedule, as well as safety protocols for fans, will be released prior to the 2021 baseball season.