D-backs invite 4 clubs to become Minor League affiliates

December 9th, 2020

The Arizona Diamondbacks have invited the following 4 clubs to become affiliates in Major League Baseball’s new player development structure: Reno Aces (Triple-A), Amarillo Sod Poodles (Double-A), Hillsboro Hops (Single-A Advanced) and Visalia Rawhide (Single-A).

“We are proud of our long-standing partnerships in Reno, Visalia and Hillsboro,” said D-backs Executive Vice President & General Manager Mike Hazen. “We are also looking forward to bringing Amarillo into the mix as we continue to stress the importance of player development throughout the organization.”

The Reno Aces would enter their 13th season as Arizona’s Triple-A club, becoming an affiliate in 2009.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles would be in their first season as the D-backs’ Double-A affiliate. The Sod Poodles, who relocated from San Antonio prior to the 2019 season, won their league’s championship as the San Diego Padres’ Double-A club in the team’s inaugural campaign.

The Hillsboro Hops would begin their ninth season as a D-backs’ affiliate, first in a full-season capacity, and 21st year of partnership dating back to Yakima (2001-12). The Hops spent the previous 8 campaigns (2013-20) as Arizona’s Short-Season A representative, winning 3 league titles (2014-15, ’19).

The Visalia Rawhide, the D-backs’ longest tenured affiliate since 2007, would reclassify as a Single-A team.

Additionally, the D-backs will continue to have entries in the Rookie-level Arizona League and Dominican Summer League.

The Office of the Commissioner has been engaged with stakeholders across the game – including all 30 MLB baseball operations departments, Minor League owners, and government officials – over the past 2 years to modernize the sport’s player development system. This new player development model will better serve fans, players and clubs throughout the United States and Canada and position the sport for growth.