WV Power is now a Mariners farm club
CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Power has a new parent organization.
West Virginia Power announced Monday the signing of a Player Development Contract through 2020 to become the Low-A South Atlantic League baseball affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The changeover to the Mariners marks the third Major League Baseball affiliate in Power history (Milwaukee, 2005-2008, and Pittsburgh, 2009-2018).
“Joining the Seattle Mariners family is an exciting moment for our franchise,” said Power executive vice president Ken Fogel in a release. “The Mariners boast a minor league system filled with talent that we cannot wait to showcase at Appalachian Power Park throughout 2019 and beyond. While we are grateful for the 10 years spent under the Pirates’ umbrella, we are excited to share this new opportunity with the city of Charleston and the surrounding fan base. We are confident that our partnership with the Mariners will bring unbridled success both on the field and in the community.”
The Seattle Mariners have
never been a part of the South Atlantic League, having been previously affiliated with the Clinton LumberKings and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (formerly the Appleton Foxes) in the Midwest League prior to this contract with the Power. Fans can look forward to names such as highly-touted prospects RHP Logan Gilbert, SS Noelvi Marte, C Cal Raleigh and OF Josh Stowers flowing through the Kanawha Valley.
“We are ecstatic to partner with the West Virginia Power,” said Mariners Director of Player Development Andy McKay. “Our conversations with their leadership team immediately revealed that we have similar values and priorities. As with all of our affiliates, we will work to put the best possible product on the field with the goal of winning baseball games and playing meaningful games late in the season. Off the field, we look forward to our community service responsibilities and the relationships we will build with the fans.”
The 2019 season kicks off April 4, 2019, and full season and 25-game ticket packages are available now by calling 304-344-BATS or visiting www.wvpower.com.
An obvious change for the Power is from where it pulls its players. The Power has sent several key members to the Pirates’ major league roster in recent years, including Josh Bell, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte, Austin Meadows and Jameson Taillon.
Any other changes — such as any alteration of the Power logo — have yet to be announced, though there are a few Piratesthemed touches to the current Power logo, including a bandana, eye patch and earrings.
The Pirates and Power signed their first player development contract in 2009 and signed a four-year extension in September 2014. It was a convenient site for the Pirates, as Appalachian Power Park sits a little less than four hours south of PNC Park in Pittsburgh. It had become even more convenient when the Pirates moved their short-season minor league team to Morgantown as the West Virginia Black Bears. Normally, players moved from the Black Bears directly to the Power in their development.