Major League Baseball this morning announced the schedules for the 2021 Minor League Baseball season, the final step in a year’s worth of tinkering that saw MLB assume operations for all of its clubs’ farm teams.
The Rochester Red Wings, the Nationals’ new Triple-A affiliate, will begin play on Tuesday, April 6 at Buffalo, the first of six straight road games against the Bisons. Rochester opens its home campaign at Frontier Field on Tuesday, April 13 with the first of six consecutive home games against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The Red Wings are grouped in the Triple-A Northeast with Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Syracuse and Worcester.
Double-A Harrisburg opens its campaign on Tuesday, May 4 at Somerset in the first of six straight games versus the Patriots, a new entry in affiliated ball after many years in the independent ranks. The Senators begin their home season at FNB Field on Tuesday, May 11 with the first of six consecutive games against Richmond. Harrisburg is part of the Double-A Southwest, which also includes Akron, Altoona, Bowie, Erie and Richmond.
The high Single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks, another new affiliate of the Nats, start the 2021 season on Tuesday, May 4 at home at Frawley Stadium versus Aberdeen in a match-up of new members of the High-A East. Aberdeen, Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, Jersey Shore and Wilmington comprise the High-A East.
Low Single-A Fredericksburg finally makes its debut on Tuesday, May 4 at Lynchburg. The FredNats, who relocated before last season’s canceled campaign from Prince William County and dropped from high Single-A, open their home schedule on Tuesday, May 11 against Delmarva. Fredericksburg is part of the Low-A East’s North Division, which also includes Delmarva, Lynchburg and Salem.
The 2021 Minor League Baseball schedule will feature greatly improved travel due to the better geographic alignment of clubs. In addition to better working conditions for players and staff, geographic proximity will create exciting new local rivalries for fans. While preserving the unique local fan experience that has made Minor League Baseball a beloved tradition for millions of fans, the 2021 season will also feature technological advancements to foster fan engagement. More details on these advancements will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Triple-A regular season will consist of 142 games and will end on Sept. 19. The Double-A and Single-A campaigns will be 120 games, running through Sept. 19.
“The 2021 Minor League Baseball season will preserve the unique local traditions and the affordable fun and excitement that fans have loved for generations, while introducing more ways for fans to engage with their favorite team. As we strengthen player development, teams will continue to do what they always have: making games fun. We can’t wait for Minor League Baseball’s opening days in ballparks across the country,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “This schedule represents a big step forward for our player development system. Under this new alignment and format, travel will be significantly reduced for players and coaches, with an increase in off-days. We hope that these new health and wellness improvements will help players in their path to the big leagues.”