Why Play in the Prospect League?
With more than 60 years of rich tradition rooted as an original collegiate wood bat summer league, the modern day Prospect League offers the best of both worlds. Players continue their development with many elements familiar to college baseball combined with a mix of professional baseball attributes for a unique summer experience. Recent advancements are part of an effort to provide the type of support and opportunities players are accustomed to in their campus settings.
The Prospect League’s collection of facilities is second to none among collegiate summer leagues. From historic ballparks used in filming Hollywood movies to the same fields where players began to forge a path to becoming legends, stadiums across the League have unique stories. Prospect League teams were well represented in Ballpark Digest’s 2022 “Best of the Ballparks” Summer Collegiate bracket. The League placed a finalist in the voting and accounted for half of the final four, three of the top eight, and advanced five to the round of 32. In 2023, the League added two more Minor League ballparks, including a former Double-A facility and one of the nation’s top Independent League venues. The Prospect League also boasted the lone college summer league facility to host an NCAA Regional (Terre Haute). Major motion pictures were filmed at the home fields of the Dubois County Bombers (A League of Their Own) and Danville Dans (The Babe).
Prospect League players get a taste of Minor League Baseball beyond just the venues in which they play. The League's 56-game season schedule mimics professional baseball. Players experience the same type of bus trips and schedules as many Minor Leaguers pursuing Big League dreams.
Physical Health and Performance
The Prospect League teams with ArmCare, a leading App that monitors player health and improves performance through its strength matters most approach. The App uses individual strength, fatigue, and recovery data to create custom training programs. Each Prospect League team is equipped with at least one ArmCare Assessment Package to measure its players. Every player in the Prospect League has an opportunity to create their own account to aid and track individual training and enhance health and performance.
The Prospect League features 40-man roster limits, allowing for better load management and additional rest days for its players during the summer. With additional versatility in their game day rosters, teams are able to grant off days while still competing with a full roster of players on a daily basis. The League is protective of its pitchers, adopting strict pitch count rules in 2018 to limit overuse. Pitchers reaching the maximum pitch count must be removed from games, which helps protect arms during the season.
Name, Image and Likeness (NIL)
The Prospect League is at the forefront of name, image and likeness (NIL) in summer collegiate baseball. A 2023 partnership with NOCAP Sports, a leading athlete marketing technology and services company teaming with top brands and serving an array of student-athletes and universities, to created an NIL initiative. Every player in the League has access to NIL education and resources to grow their off-field presence successfully and compliantly. Much like they do on their own campuses, players have opportunities to connect with brands through social media, appearances, merchandise, and more, while working in symmetry with their school’s regulations.
Over one half-million fans attended Prospect League games in cities large and small during the 2023 season. The League shattered its all-time attendance record by drawing 575,294 fans, marking the largest year-over-year increase in all of summer collegiate baseball. Teams drew an average of more than 1,200 fans per game during the season The League’s footprint includes more than 20 million people living within a 50-mile radius of each team location. Prospect League markets span across large suburban settings, mid-size metro areas, and small cities providing a different experience in each location. Communities embrace their teams and provide a close-knit family environment while supporting their players during the summer season.
The Prospect League continues to make major advancements in its digital presence. Both the Prospect League website and social platforms exceeded well over one million impressions in 2023 alone. Since 2017, every Prospect League game has been broadcast on stream platforms across the Internet, on Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV via PLTV. More than 70,000 fans viewed Prospect League games over the past four seasons. A robust and expanded social media approach, including a new and improved Prospect League Podcast available on YouTube, reaches more than 10,000 followers across the League’s social media channels and over 220,000 followers combined across team platforms.
The Prospect League partners with the Collegiate Baseball Umpires Alliance to provide umpires at each of its games and allow players an experience congruent with their college seasons. The CBUA provides the highest quality of officiating, including umpires who have worked the NCAA Men's College World Series, among its 1,300 active umpires from across the United States. The CBUA recruits umpires through various college umpiring associations and trains and evaluates them through its vast network of associates.
The Prospect League began in 1963 as the Central Illinois Collegiate League, an original collegiate baseball summer league. In the 60 years since its origin, the League has evolved into one of the most recognizable summer destinations in college baseball. The Prospect League’s rich history includes National Baseball and College Baseball Hall of Famers and World Series and NCAA Champions. Nearly 200 Prospect League alumni reached the Major Leagues and more than 800 have played professionally. Most recently, the Prospect League produced first-round MLB Draft picks in consecutive seasons and saw several alumni receive prestigious national and conference accolades during the 2023 college season.