California Winter League (2010)
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|No. of teams||10|
|Washington Blue Sox|
The California Winter League is an instructional showcase league for free agent baseball players who are looking to earn a professional contract before spring training begins. The league was created by Andrew Starke in 2010. The league takes place in Palm Springs, CA at the Palm Springs Stadium complex which is a former spring training facility of the Angels. In 2019, the CWL will celebrate its 10th season as players report to Palm Springs on February 4th, 2019. Over the previous 9 seasons, over 650 former CWL players have earned a contract following the CWL and gone on to play professionally. Fans are welcome for game days and can enjoy promotions such as $2 Beers on Saturdays as well as discounted admission prices for locals, out of state residents, and Canadian residents on specific days throughout the week.
Each season, the California Winter League hires current MLB pro scouts and professional independent league managers to act as instructors during the CWL season. These instructors manage games, work to develop CWL players, and sign CWL players during their time at the CWL. Every year, roughly 40% of CWL players receive a professional contract offer. Past instructors include Barry Moss (scout, LA Dodgers), Chris Carminucci (scout, Arizona Diamondbacks), Rick Schroeder (scout, Texas Rangers), Michael Garcia (scout, Philadelphia Phillies), Dennis Henderson (scout, Chicago Cubs), Ryan Powell (scout, Baltimore Orioles), Ron Biga (manager, Frontier League), Dan Rohn (manager, Frontier League), Bobby Brown (manager, American Association), James Frisbie (manager, Atlantic League), Dan DiPace (player procurement, Pacific Association), Chris Newell (manager, USPBL), Paul Noce (manager, USPBL), Mac Suzuki (MLB pitcher, Seattle Mariners) and Boots Day (coach, Frontier League). Each Scout or manager in the CWL has the ability to sign players for their professional organizations.
The purpose of the California Winter League is to provide coaching and an avenue for players to get noticed by scouts with the ultimate goal of signing a professional contract. Past players have signed with any of various Independent baseball leagues and MLB organizations. Over the past nine seasons the California Winter League has had over forty percent of its players get signed to play professionally after the winter league ended.
Dozens of former CWL players have gone on to play for MLB organizations. Notably, Kevin Lenik (Kansas City Royals organization), Luke Barker (Milwaukee Brewers organization), Matt Pobereyko (New York Mets organization), Mickey Janis (New York Mets organization), Cole Brocker (Chicago Cubs organization), Nick Schultz (San Diego Padres organization), Tanner Kiest (Minnesota Twins organization), Troy Marks (Philadelphia Phillies organization), Max Duval (Miami Marlins organization), Tyler Matzek (MLB pitcher). In addition to these players, the league has played host to Kolby Clemens (son of Roger Clemens), Dustin Smith (son of Ozzie Smith), and Wilfredo Pujols (cousin of Albert Pujols). Guest instructors have included Roger Clemens, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Johnny Bench, Wally Joyner, and Coco Crisp.
|California Winter League|
|Blythe Heat, High Desert Haymakers, Middle America/ Team USA||2018-19||Palm Springs, California|
|Manitoba North Stars, New York Colonials||2016||Palm Springs, California|
|Alberta Grizzly, Toronto Rush||2015||Palm Springs, California|
|Bay Area Bootleggers, Midwest Haymakers||2014||Palm Springs, California|
|British Columbia Bombers, Oregon Lumberjacks, Washington Blue Sox||2013||Palm Springs, California|
|Palm Springs Power||2012||Palm Springs, California|
|Canada A's||2009||Palm Springs, California|
|Coachella Valley Snowbirds||2009||Palm Springs, California|
|Palm Desert Coyotes||2009||Palm Springs, California|
|Palm Springs Chill||2007 (with the AWL)||Palm Springs, California|