The Florida Collegiate Summer League has seen a huge spike in interest from baseball’s top college prospects who have lost their roster spots due to the many league cancellations. Responding to this great demand, the FCBL and a few other leagues are taking extraordinary steps to accommodate the slew of players looking for a place to play in 2020.
The economics of a dwindling supply of active leagues and an increase in demand has created a tough but understandable decision for commissioner Stefano Foggi. To adjust for this newfound binge of collegiate prospects, position players will see an increase in league dues.
“This was the hardest decision about this plan,” Foggi said he is uncomfortable with the jump from 600 to 949. “We know that it’s hard for college players to come up with the summer fees.” The FCSL is a 501C(3) non-profit that relies heavily on fundraising. The spring fundraising season has been stifled by the pandemic. “It’s what we have to do to keep everything going.” stated commissioner Foggi.
The FCSL will undergo a restructuring that encourages competition and will give lesser-recruited ballplayers a chance to earn a top roster spot. http://floridaleague.com/view/fcsl/news/news_530905 “We realized we needed to provide an opportunity for players to get out on the field.”
The league will split into two divisions. Division I is invite-only. Players are recruited and given a roster spot based on past performances. The college game has had an entire season go by the wayside. There will be an opportunity for underclassmen and players from smaller schools to sign up in the open “FL Division II” and work their way up through what will essentially be a summer league scouting combine scheduled for June 15th. Opening day is slated for June 29th.
Roster sizes originally increased mostly to accommodate pitchers that will be on a pitch count. Now, each team is allowed to recruit a 2nd team. In essence, each team’s roster spots will double for their Division I program.
Division II had an original moniker dubbed as the “Futures League.” The organization was developmental and had a shorter schedule that will now expand to 30 games. “It’s all done to encourage playing time if we are lucky enough to go.” Commissioner Foggi alluded to the continued uncertainty surrounding the current situation.
“It’s a very slow re-opening, which I think is a good decision.” Phase 1 is currently underway. The governments of Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, & Polk county FL are the host areas that would allow 50% spectator capacity if the numbers continue to look good enough to reach phase 2. The Florida League is in a state of cautious optimism.
If health conditions deteriorate FCSL’s website already has a policy in place to refund each player fee. No official schedule will be published until at least June. Commissioner Stefano Foggi and the entire staff at the Florida Collegiate Summer League are looking forward to a boom year in talent.