Fort Wayne TinCaps invited to High-A in reshuffle of Minor League Baseball

Major League Baseball extended invitations to 120 teams Wednesday, marking the new configuration of Minor League Baseball. This includes the proposed elevation of the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a higher level of professional baseball.

Posted: Dec 9, 2020 2:38 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 11:11 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Major League Baseball extended invitations to 120 teams Wednesday, marking the new configuration of Minor League Baseball.

This includes the proposed elevation of the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a higher level of professional baseball.

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The TinCaps are pleased to have received this invitation and look forward to reviewing the complete terms and conditions of the new license that will be offered by Major League Baseball.

“There has been a lot of anticipation regarding the restructuring of Minor League Baseball,” said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. “We’re excited that the TinCaps have been invited to join at the High-A level. Fans in Fort Wayne will have the chance to experience a higher level of baseball than before with players closer to becoming Major League stars.”

MLB’s new player development structure will consist of 120 teams across four levels: Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A.

Each MLB team will have one Minor League licensed affiliate at each level. (MLB teams also will have additional affiliates in the Dominican Republic and in either Arizona or Florida.)

The TinCaps have been invited to continue their tremendous partnership and affiliation with the San Diego Padres as the Padres’ High-A team.

Previously, Fort Wayne has played at the Low-A level since Minor League Baseball’s arrival in the city in 1993.

That includes being affiliated with the Padres since 1999.

At 22 years, Fort Wayne’s affiliation with San Diego is the longest-running in Padres history.

“The quality of Parkview Field had a tremendous amount to do with our not merely being included in the 120 teams invited to join the new Minor League Baseball, but moving up to High-A,” Nutter said. “Fort Wayne’s ballpark is recognized as one of the top fan experiences in all of Minor League Baseball, and among the best playing surfaces and clubhouse facilities anywhere in the country. The important step that Fort Wayne took by building Parkview Field has not only helped revitalize downtown, but has also secured the long-term future of high-level affiliated baseball in the city.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of what has been accomplished in Fort Wayne over the past 12 years,” said TinCaps Managing Owner Jason Freier. “We want to thank Mayor Tom Henry and the City of Fort Wayne for their vision and steadfast support, Congressman Jim Banks for consistently championing the cause of the TinCaps and Minor League Baseball, and, of course, the great fans of Fort Wayne. We look forward to receiving the proposed agreement with Major League Baseball.”

"The Fort Wayne TinCaps and Parkview Field have been an integral part of the revitalization and success of our downtown,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It's great that our community and region will now be part of High-A baseball through the changes to the Minor League Baseball system. We've enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the leadership of the TinCaps organization, and we look forward with optimism to 2021 and beyond."

United States Congressman Jim Banks, who serves Indiana’s 3rd district, also expressed his excitement at the news and for the future of the TinCaps.

"I’d like to offer big congratulations to the TinCaps’ leadership,” Congressman Banks said. “Hard work pays off. I’d also like to recognize the TinCaps’ fanbase, whose support allowed Fort Wayne baseball to keep growing during a challenging period. We're more excited than ever to see what the TinCaps can do at Parkview Field in 2021."

The TinCaps’ fan experience, perennially rated No. 1 across all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey magazine in its annual rankings, will now boast a higher level of play on the field and more seasoned players on the roster.

“We’ve been blessed to have seen some top-level prospects in Fort Wayne over the years,” Nutter said. “This franchise has had 192 former players go on to play in the Major Leagues. Our players have earned All-Star status, Cy Young awards, and World Series MVP. Recent TinCap Fernando Tatis Jr. nearly won this season’s NL MVP award at just 21 years old. With the TinCaps now playing at the High-A level, we’ll see an even higher caliber of player and more Fort Wayne alumni being promoted to the Major Leagues.”

The High-A designation will mean more experienced and talented players wearing the Fort Wayne TinCaps uniform.

“Previously, Fort Wayne was most likely the first taste of full-season professional baseball for players on the TinCaps,” Nutter said. “Now, at High-A, we’ll have a roster that has more experience and is one step closer to the Major Leagues.”

Once the Minor League Baseball teams and leagues are finalized, the TinCaps will receive their 2021 schedule.

“We look forward to the resumption of baseball at Parkview Field,” Nutter said. “We can’t wait until we have our 2021 schedule so fans can start planning to be out at the ballpark.”

As planning for 2021 continues, the TinCaps will monitor Indiana and Allen County COVID-19 related projected protocols, requirements, and recommendations for the spring and summer.

“We’ll approach the 2021 season with extreme care and consideration,” Nutter said. “Every event at Parkview Field will put the health and safety of our fans, guests, staff, and players first. We’re hopeful that between now and Opening Day we’ll see tremendous strides taken toward returning to some level of normalcy. Whatever the situation, when it’s time to ‘play ball,’ we’ll be ready as a staff and facility.”

The Padres also have invited the El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), and Lake Elsinore Storm (Low-A) to join their player development system.

“We’re eager and excited to continue our long-standing relationships with El Paso, San Antonio, Fort Wayne, and Lake Elsinore,” said Padres Executive Vice President & General Manager A.J. Preller. “They have been valued partners of the Padres throughout our player development system for many years, and each of their respective communities have supported their teams and welcomed our players and staff with open arms. We look forward to bringing Padres baseball back to these communities again in 2021.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 727764

Reported Deaths: 13397
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion995211738
Lake53461965
Allen40457675
St. Joseph35506550
Hamilton35489408
Elkhart28433441
Tippecanoe22359218
Vanderburgh22284396
Porter18668307
Johnson17905377
Hendricks17180315
Clark12930191
Madison12592339
Vigo12431246
Monroe11858170
LaPorte11821210
Delaware10648185
Howard9865216
Kosciusko9378117
Hancock8251140
Bartholomew8052155
Warrick7771155
Floyd7649177
Grant7027174
Wayne7026199
Boone6679101
Morgan6555139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6005111
Dearborn579277
Cass5788105
Henry5688103
Noble558883
Jackson500872
Shelby490296
Lawrence4505120
Harrison434772
Gibson434692
Clinton427053
DeKalb426484
Montgomery423588
Whitley394739
Huntington389080
Steuben383857
Miami380666
Knox371890
Jasper363847
Putnam358860
Wabash353379
Adams340654
Ripley339170
Jefferson328881
White313254
Daviess295899
Wells291081
Decatur284292
Fayette279262
Greene277385
Posey271033
Scott265453
LaGrange265370
Clay259146
Washington240032
Randolph239781
Spencer232031
Jennings229549
Starke215453
Fountain212046
Sullivan211142
Owen198156
Fulton194740
Jay192530
Carroll188320
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush172925
Vermillion168543
Franklin167735
Tipton162445
Parke145916
Blackford134632
Pike133234
Pulaski116445
Newton107234
Brown101641
Crawford99314
Benton98414
Martin88315
Warren81715
Switzerland7848
Union70810
Ohio56411
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1081518

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1256551400
Cuyahoga1117782115
Hamilton798901205
Montgomery513291014
Summit47080945
Lucas42049788
Butler38301584
Stark32242906
Lorain24958481
Warren24262298
Mahoning21511588
Lake20618369
Clermont19747238
Delaware18503133
Licking16410212
Fairfield16160199
Trumbull16019468
Medina15247264
Greene15043244
Clark13970299
Wood13065189
Portage12825203
Allen11626232
Richland11323199
Miami10661217
Muskingum8799133
Wayne8784211
Columbiana8766229
Pickaway8551121
Marion8514135
Tuscarawas8470244
Erie7871154
Hancock6906127
Ross6842155
Ashtabula6792170
Geauga6677148
Scioto6405101
Belmont5873167
Union570348
Lawrence5546102
Jefferson5521151
Huron5427119
Darke5347123
Sandusky5337120
Seneca5275121
Athens518858
Washington5153109
Auglaize489584
Mercer480385
Shelby468893
Knox4483110
Madison435561
Putnam4278100
Fulton421669
Ashland421489
Defiance419297
Crawford3970107
Brown393857
Logan381576
Preble379398
Clinton371263
Ottawa366679
Highland354662
Williams338575
Champaign331458
Guernsey315653
Jackson312151
Perry294850
Morrow284639
Fayette281550
Hardin270664
Henry268466
Coshocton264557
Holmes2593101
Van Wert243363
Adams237752
Pike237534
Gallia235349
Wyandot230855
Hocking215262
Carroll191247
Paulding172540
Meigs144740
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108323
Harrison107637
Vinton82815
Unassigned02
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