The fallout from the proposed realignment of Minor League Baseball could have an effect on North Adams and Pittsfield.

Major League Baseball and USA Baseball announced a major change for one of the short-season minor leagues that was due to be eliminated in the MLB restructuring of the minors. The 10-team Appalachian League will survive in 2021, but as a league for freshman and sophomore college baseball players. It lines the Appalachian League up as a direct competitor to the NECBL and the Futures League.

“To be honest with you right now, I think the top leagues will likely be impacted. The Cape Cod League, obviously, has a lot of first-team All-Americans, second-team All-Americans and freshman All-Americans,” NECBL commissioner Sean McGrath said. “The NECBL is next on that list as far as the quality of players. Certainly there will be some of the players that our rosters would likely be filled with, will have the opportunity to go participate in this league. But keep in mind, that league includes [10] teams and I don’t know what their roster size will be. That will be a small group of players from around the country. There are a lot of great players that come through the NECBL each and every year.

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Howard Herman can be reached at, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.