Prospect League
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2024 Prospect League season
Inaugural season2009
CommissionerDavid Brauer
No. of teams18
Country United States
Most recent
Chillicothe Paints
Most titlesChillicothe Paints (4)
TV partner(s)Prospect League TV

The Prospect League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. So as to maintain their college eligibility, players are not paid. Beginning in 2012, the league added four games to the season, making a total of 60 games per team (30 home and 30 road).

League history


In 1963, the Central Illinois Collegiate League (CICL), the precursor league to the Prospect league, was formed as a charter member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) summer collegiate baseball program. The league existed under NCAA rules and guidance for 41 years. In 2005, the NCAA ended its official association with summer collegiate baseball; however, the CICL continued to preserve the amateur status of its member athletes by abiding by the rules and regulations of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball (NACSB).[1] In 2009, the CICL planned to expand to six teams by adding the Hannibal Cavemen, but in winter 2008, the league ownership voted against further expansion.

Dr. Chris Hanners, owner of the Chillicothe franchise and one of the founders of the independent professional Frontier League, wanted to keep a Paints baseball team in Chillicothe. Dr. Hanners, Leo Trich, former Frontier league director of development; General Manager and majority owner of the Butler BlueSox,[2] and Duke Ward, former owner of the Frontier League's Richmond Roosters[3] worked with the ownership of the CICL to form the Prospect League.

The Prospect League began its inaugural season in summer 2009 with the original CICL teams forming the Western Division. Five expansion teams formed the Eastern Division. Three of the Eastern Division teams began play in markets previously served by Frontier League teams. Besides the Chillicothe Paints, the Richmond RiverRats (Richmond, Indiana) played in the previous home of the Frontier League's Richmond Roosters, which are now the Traverse City Beach Bums. The Slippery Rock Sliders (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania) played in the previous home of the Frontier League team of the same name.[4]

2010 expansion

In 2010, the Prospect League expanded adding four new franchises: the Terre Haute Rex (Terre Haute, Indiana), the West Virginia Miners (Beckley, West Virginia), the DeKalb County Liners (Sycamore, Illinois), and the Nashville Outlaws (Nashville, Tennessee).[5]

Due to a change in team ownership in 2010, the North Coast Knights became the Lorain County Ironmen.[6]

2011 and 2012 team departures

In 2011 the DuPage Dragons franchise folded after five years with the CICL (2006–08) and Prospect League (2009–10). As a result, the league returned to a 2-division format after having 3 divisions in 2010. Richmond was moved to the six-team Eastern Division, while Danville, Nashville, Terre Haute, and Dubois County were moved to the eight-team Western Division.

Before the 2012 season, the Nashville Outlaws folded, and the DeKalb County Liners left the league to join the Midwest Collegiate League, leaving the Prospect League with twelve teams in two, six-team divisions. The 2012 schedule consisted of 60 games with no "cross-over" games; with all games played among teams from the same division only. The only time teams from opposite divisions meet is in the Championship Series.

Expansion into New York

For the 2015 season, the league added its easternmost team yet, the Jamestown Jammers (Jamestown, New York).[7] The Kokomo Jackrabbits (Kokomo, Indiana) were also added to the league to play in the new Kokomo Municipal Stadium, set to open for the 2015 season.[8] After the 2015 season, the Richmond RiverRats folded,[9] and the Jamestown Jammers moved to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League after just one season in the Prospect League.[10]

Lafayette and DuPage join the league

The league stayed at 12 total teams for the 2016 season by adding the new Lafayette Aviators (Lafayette, Indiana) and DuPage Drones (Lisle, Illinois).[11][12][13]

2017 contraction

For the 2017 season, the league contracted to 10 teams, as the Hannibal Cavemen and DuPage Drones both ceased operation.[14] Hannibal reentered the league for the 2018 season as the Hannibal Hoots.[15]

2019 expansion and reorganization

The league returned to a twelve team league for the 2019 season with the addition of the Cape Catfish in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the departure of the Kokomo Jackrabbits to the Northwoods League, the addition of the Normal CornBelters from the Frontier League and the addition of the DuPage Pistol Shrimp in Lisle, Illinois.[16][17][18]

The 2019 league featured two divisions, each with six teams. The West Division consisted of the Cape Catfish, DuPage Pistol Shrimp, Hannibal Hoots, Normal CornBelters, Quincy Gems and the Springfield Sliders. The East Division consisted of the Champion City Kings, Chillicothe Paints, Danville Dans, Lafayette Aviators, Terre Haute REX and the West Virginia Miners.[19]

2020 season cancellation

On May 29, 2020, the Prospect League announced cancellation of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20] In January 2020, the league announced adding a new team in Alton, Illinois for the 2021 season.[21] In September 2020, the league announced adding a new team in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for the 2021 season.[22]

2021 expansion

In February 2021, the league announced the addition of two new teams in Iowa, the Clinton LumberKings and Burlington Bees. Both teams are former Midwest League teams displaced in the 2021 realignment of the minor leagues.[23]

2023 expansion

In December 2021, the league announced the addition of the Jackson Rockabillys for the 2023 season, playing home games in Jackson, Tennessee at West Tennessee Baseball Stadium (formerly known as The Ballpark at Jackson).[24] In August 2022, the league announced that a Southern Illinois team would begin play in 2023 at Rent One Park in Marion, Illinois;[25] in February 2023, the team was named the Thrillville Thrillbillies.[26] The league announced that the West Virginia Miners would be dormant for the 2023 season.[27]


Current members

Eastern Conference[27]
Division Team Founded Joined Stadium City Capacity
Northeast Champion City Kings 2009 2013 Carleton Davidson Stadium Springfield, Ohio 1,077
Chillicothe Paints* 1993 2009 V.A. Memorial Stadium^ Chillicothe, Ohio 3,000+
Johnstown Mill Rats 2020 2021 Point Stadium^ Johnstown, Pennsylvania 7,500
Lafayette Aviators 2015 Loeb Stadium Lafayette, Indiana 2,600
Central Danville Dans 1989 2008 Danville Stadium^ Danville, Illinois 4,000
Dubois County Bombers 1998 2024 League Stadium Huntingburg, Indiana 2,783
Normal CornBelters* 2009 2019 The Corn Crib^ Normal, Illinois 7,000
Terre Haute Rex 2010 Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium Terre Haute, Indiana 2,500
Springfield Lucky Horseshoes 2007 2009 Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park^ Springfield, Illinois 5,200
Western Conference[27]
Division Team Founded Joined Stadium City Capacity
Northwest Alton River Dragons 2020 2021 Lloyd Hopkins Field Alton, Illinois 2,500
Burlington Bees* 1924 2021 Community Field^ Burlington, Iowa 3,200
Clinton LumberKings* 1954 2021 NelsonCorp Field^ Clinton, Iowa 5,500
Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp 2019 2021 Schweickert Stadium at Veterans Memorial Park Peru, Illinois 575+
O'Fallon Hoots 2018 2020 CarShield Field^ O'Fallon, Missouri 5,150
South Cape Catfish 2018 2019 Capaha Field Cape Girardeau, Missouri 2,000
Full Count Rhythm 2020 2024 Drakes Creek Park Hendersonville, Tennessee Unknown
Jackson Rockabillys 2023 West Tennessee Baseball Stadium^ Jackson, Tennessee 6,000
Thrillville Thrillbillies 2023 Marion Stadium^ Marion, Illinois 7,000
* Former professional baseball team
^ Former professional baseball venue

Charter members: Butler BlueSox, Champion City Kings (as the Slippery Rock Sliders), Chillicothe Paints, Danville Dans, DuPage Dragons, Hannibal Cavemen, Richmond RiverRats, Springfield Sliders, Quincy Gems

Former members

Team City Joined Left Current league
Butler BlueSox Butler, Pennsylvania 2009 2018 Tri-State Collegiate League
DeKalb County Liners Sycamore, Illinois 2010 2011 none (defunct)
Dubois County Bombers Huntingburg, Indiana 2009 2012 Ohio Valley League
DuPage Dragons Lisle, Illinois 2009 2011 none (defunct)
DuPage Drones Lisle, Illinois 2016 2016 none (defunct)
Hannibal Cavemen Hannibal, Missouri 2009 2016 none (defunct)
Hannibal Hoots Hannibal, Missouri 2018 2019 Moved to O'Fallon, Missouri in 2020
Jamestown Jammers Jamestown, New York 2015 2015 none (defunct)
Kokomo Jackrabbits Kokomo, Indiana 2015 2018 Northwoods League
Nashville Outlaws Nashville, Tennessee 2010 2012 none (defunct)
Richmond RiverRats Richmond, Indiana 2009 2015 none (defunct)
West Virginia Miners Beckley, West Virginia 2010 2022[27] none (defunct)
Quincy Gems Quincy, Illinois 2009 2023 none (defunct)

The Cape Catfish, DuPage Pistol Shrimp and Normal CornBelters joined the league in the 2019, replacing the Kokomo Jackrabbits, who left for the Northwoods League,[28] and the Butler BlueSox, who suspended operations.[29]

Division and league champions

Playoff format

2009: After 56-game schedule, teams with best record in each division faced each other in a best-of-three series for the Championship.

2010: 56-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division faced each other in a one-game playoff (home field to team with best overall record). Where the same team won both halves in a division, the team with the next-best overall record from that division was declared the wild card. Championship Series was a two-game affair with the divisional playoff winner with the best overall record receiving a bye into the Championship Game. The remaining two divisional playoff winners met in a one-game play-in for the right to go to the Championship Game. Championship Series held at Chillicothe, Ohio.

Teams in italics qualified for that season's playoffs as a wild card entry under that particular season's playoff format.

2011: 56-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division faced each other in a one-game playoff (home field to team winning the first half). Where the same team won both halves in a division, the team with the next-best overall record from that division was declared the wild card. Divisional playoff winners met in one-game playoff with home field awarded to the team with the best overall record from the regular season.

2012: 60-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division to face each other in a one-game playoff to be hosted by the first-half champions in each division. If the same team wins both halves, the team with the best overall record from that division will be declared the wild card. Winners of each divisional playoff game will meet in a best-of-three Championship Series, with home advantage given to the division that wins the annual All-Star Game (to be held in Butler, PA). Game One of the Championship Series will be played at the home field of the team from the losing division at the All-Star Game, with Game Two and Game Three (if necessary) held at the home field of the team from the winning division at the All-Star Game.

2013–2016: 60-game schedule divided into two halves. Winners from each half in each division to face each other in a best-of-three with game one being held at second-half winner and games two and three (if necessary) at home of first-half winner. There are no travel days in the Division Series. Each division champion plays in the best-of-three Prospect League Championship Series. Game one is held at the home of the team representing the division that lost that year's All-Star Game. Games two and three (if necessary) are held at the home of the team representing the division that won that year's All-Star Game.

2017–present: After a 60-game schedule, the top two teams in the East Division and the West Division play each other in the first round in a best of 3 series with the first place teams getting home field advantage. The winner of the East Division and West Division series face off in a best-of-three Prospect League Championship series with the team with the best record getting home field advantage.

Championship results

Championship results
Year East Division playoff champion West Division playoff champion League champions
2009 Chillicothe Paints 0 Quincy Gems 2 Quincy Gems
2010 Chillicothe Paints 1 Danville Dans 0 Chillicothe Paints
2011 West Virginia Miners 0 Quincy Gems 1 Quincy Gems
2012 West Virginia Miners 2 Dubois County Bombers 0 West Virginia Miners
2013 West Virginia Miners 2 Quincy Gems 0 West Virginia Miners
2014 Chillicothe Paints 1 Quincy Gems 2 Quincy Gems
2015 West Virginia Miners 0 Terre Haute Rex 2 Terre Haute Rex
2016 West Virginia Miners 2 Quincy Gems 0 West Virginia Miners
2017 Butler BlueSox 1 Lafayette Aviators 2 Lafayette Aviators
2018 Kokomo Jackrabbits 0 Terre Haute Rex 2 Terre Haute Rex
2019 Chillicothe Paints 2 Cape Catfish 1 Chillicothe Paints
2020 None (season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic)[30]
2021 Lafayette Aviators 1 Cape Catfish 2 Cape Catfish
2022 Chillicothe Paints 2 Alton River Dragons 1 Chillicothe Paints
2023 Chillicothe Paints 2 Quincy Gems 1 Chillicothe Paints
Championship appearances by team
Total Titles Team Last
6 4 Chillicothe Paints 2023
6 3 Quincy Gems 2016
5 3 West Virginia Miners 2016
2 1 Cape Catfish 2021
2 1 Lafayette Aviators 2021
2 2 Terre Haute Rex 2018
1 0 Danville Dans 2010
1 0 Dubois County Bombers 2012
1 0 Butler BlueSox 2017
1 0 Kokomo Jackrabbits 2018


Mike Schmidt Award winners (Player of the Year)

Year Winner Position Team
2009 Tyler Bullock Catcher Richmond River Rats
2010 Jeff Holm Outfielder Chillicothe Paints
2011 Chris Serritella First Baseman Quincy Gems
2012 Matt Tellor Infielder Springfield Sliders
2013 Matt Calhoun Infielder Slippery Rock Sliders
2014 Ronnie Dawson Outfielder Chillicothe Paints
2015 David Marcus First Baseman Butler Bluesox
2016 Aaron Meyer Second Baseman DuPage Drones
2017 Dougie Parks Third Baseman Lafayette Aviators
2019 Andrew Stone Outfielder Cape Catfish
2020 Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)
2021 Jackson Jones Infielder Burlington Bees

Pitcher of the Year Award winners

Year Winner Throws Team
2009 Rusty Shellhorn Left Northcoast Knights
2010 Dean Wolosianski Right West Virginia Miners
2011 Clayton Schulz Left Chillicothe Paints
2012 Kris Gardner (LH Starter), Sam Lewis (RH Starter), Nick Blount (Reliever) Hannibal Cavemen, West Virginia Miners, Terre Haute Rex
2013 Wes Judish Right Hannibal Cavemen
2014 Adam Bleday (LH Starter), Chase Boster (RH Starter), Kolin Stanley (Reliever) Butler BlueSox, West Virginia Miners, West Virginia Miners
2015 Tanner Allison Left Chillicothe Paints
2016 Brian Hobbie Right Terre Haute Rex
2017 Brad Depperman Right Lafayette Aviators
2019 Bryan McNeely Right Cape Catfish
2020 Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)
2021 Ryan Eiermann Left Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp
2022 Josh Leerssen Right Danville Dans


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  2. ^ "Blue Sox Staff". Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "Franchise gives Richmond hope for baseball". Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  4. ^ "Sliders in Ypsi for '09 season". Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  5. ^ "Prospect League Announces Expansion Team in Nashville". Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  6. ^ "North Coast Knights become the Lorain County Ironmen". Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Prospect League Team Keeping Jammers Name". The Post-Journal. Jamestown, New York. January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Jackrabbits name, logo, and manager reveal". Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Jimenez, Jesus (October 10, 2015). "'Rats say so long". Palladium-Item. Gannett Company. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Jamestown Jammers Join PGCBL". Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  11. ^ "2016 Schedule Announced". Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  12. ^ "Lafayette, Fans Select Logo for New Team". Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  13. ^ "DuPage Drones Logo Unveiled". Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "Hannibal Cavement to 'suspend operations' for 2017 season". Hannibal Courier-Post. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Graeler, Kevin. "Final countdown: Hannibal Hoots prep for inaugural season". Hannibal Courier. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Prospect League Notebook: Gems change color scheme, Cape Girardeau franchise named, Tennessee may get team". Herald-Whig. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  17. ^ Spedden, Zach (July 5, 2018). "Jackrabbits Shifting to Northwoods League". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  18. ^, Randy Reinhardt. "CornBelters to join Prospect League under new ownership". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "NEW FOR 2019: DuPage Pistol Shrimp | Prospect Collegiate Baseball LLC". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  20. ^ "Prospect League Cancels 2020 Season Due To COVID-19". Prospect Collegiate Baseball LLC. May 29, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  21. ^ "Prospect League Announces Expansion To Alton, Illinois for 2021". Prospect Collegiate Baseball LLC. January 29, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "Prospect League Adds Johnstown, Pa., for 2021". Prospect Collegiate Baseball LLC. September 1, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  23. ^ "Clinton LumberKings, Burlington Bees Added for 2021". (Press release). Prospect Collegiate Baseball LLC. January 14, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Jackson, Tenn. added to Prospect League beginning in 2023". Prospect League (Press release). December 14, 2021. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  25. ^ Reichard, Kevin (August 24, 2022). "Southern Illinois joins Prospect League for 2023, playing at Rent One Park". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  26. ^ Halstead, Marilyn (February 23, 2023). "Prospect League baseball team reveals new name in Marion". The Southern Illinoisan. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  27. ^ a b c d "2023 Schedule Announced!". Prospect League Baseball (Press release). Prospect League Baseball. December 8, 2022. Retrieved December 27, 2022. The West Virginia Miners will be dormant for the 2023 season.
  28. ^ Staff, Tribune Sports. "Jackrabbits to join Northwoods League in 2019". Kokomo Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  29. ^ "Butler BlueSox Won't Play Next Summer - - Butler, PA". - Butler, PA. August 28, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  30. ^ Reichard, Kevin (May 29, 2020). "Prospect League cancels 2020 season". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved May 29, 2020.