Pittsburgh Pirates announce 2021 full-season minor league affiliate invitations

December 9th, 2020

The Pittsburgh Pirates have extended invitations to keep their minor league affiliations with the Indianapolis Indians, Altoona Curve, Bradenton Marauders and Greensboro Grasshoppers. 

"We are excited and proud to present the opportunity to continue our long-standing partnerships with the Indianapolis Indians, Altoona Curve, and, of course, the City of Bradenton with the Marauders. We are equally excited to have the chance to continue to build upon our relationship with our newest affiliate the Greensboro Grasshoppers," said Pirates President Travis Williams. "The player development system is always going to be critical to our future success at the Major League level. It is more important than ever that we partner with affiliate organizations that share in this commitment to our players and facilities."  

The Pirates would be affiliated with Triple-A Indianapolis for the 17th straight season and Double-A Altoona for the 23rd consecutive season pending acceptance of the invitation. The 2021 season would mark Pittsburgh's 12th straight season with the Bradenton Marauders, which will change from High-A to Low-A. The Greensboro Grasshoppers, which have been affiliated with the Pirates since 2019, will move from Low-A to High-A.

The Pirates will continue to have entries in the Gulf Coast League and the Dominican Summer League. Major League Baseball will announce each team's league affiliation and schedule at a future date. 

Pittsburgh's affiliations in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Bristol, Virginia, will become part of Major League Baseball's efforts to modernize player development while preserving baseball in the local communities in which it is currently played.  

The West Virginia Black Bears will be part of Major League Baseball's new Draft League, which will be focused on top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB clubs next summer. The Bristol Pirates will be part of the Appalachian League's inaugural season in 2021 as a newly established collegiate summer league within the Major League Baseball (MLB) and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline.