The team has announced an agreement with the Rookie League affiliate in Bristol, Virginia of the Appalachian League for the 2014 season. The announcement was made by Larry Broadway, Pittsburgh’s Director of Minor League Operations.
The Pirates return to the Appalachian League for the first time since the Princeton Pirates were the team’s Rookie League affiliate in 1989.
“We are looking forward to expanding our development system into the Appalachian League as well as beginning a new relationship with the fans and staff in Bristol, Virginia,” said Broadway. “As we continue to invest in the draft and Latin America, the addition of an advanced Rookie League team provides us another opportunity to maximize the development time of every player who enters into our system.”
In 2013, the Pirates’ eight minor league affiliates combined for a 444-394 record and a .530 winning percentage, seventh-best among all Major League organizations. Six of Pittsburgh’s eight affiliates posted a .500 record or better and five affiliates advanced to play in the postseason.
The Pirates Bristol affiliate will play in the five team Appalachian League West Division along with Kingsport (New York Mets), Greeneville (Houston), Elizabethton (Minnesota) and Johnson City (St. Louis).