MLB University to Prepare Diverse, Mid-Level Baseball Front Office Professionals For Advancement to Senior Baseball Operations or On-Field Roles
Core Principles of New MLB-Led Initiative Include Mentorship and A Curriculum Focusing on League Governance & Baseball Operations Training
NEW YORK, NY -- Major League Baseball today announced “MLB University,” a new career development program designed to prepare diverse, mid-level front office professionals for advancement to senior baseball operations or on-field roles. MLB University will be modeled as both a substantive training curriculum that will teach the skills necessary to succeed in a baseball operations department or on-field role as well as an ongoing mentorship and networking opportunity.
Each MLB Club has nominated one non-senior level professional who has a diverse personal background. Additionally, five members of the Buck O’Neil Professional Scouts & Coaches Association also have been nominated to participate in this new program. The inaugural MLB University class participated in its first session of the 10-month course earlier this week. The MLB University members will participate in semi-monthly training sessions, via zoom, that will cover a full-range of topics front-offices face, including:
- Roster Management
- Payroll & CBT Accounting
- Player Contracts
- Salary Arbitration
- Amateur Draft & International Talent System
- Major & Minor League Operations
- Medical Administration
- Related topics governed by the Basic Agreement, Major League Rules and MLB Regulations.
The program, which was developed over the course of the last several months, is being led by Michael Hill (MLB Senior Vice President, On-Field Operations). The sessions will be run by various senior members of the League’s Baseball & On-Field Operations, Economics and Labor areas. Importantly, senior-level MLB officials will be involved in both training sessions and ongoing mentoring opportunities, including Tony Reagins (MLB Chief Baseball Development Officer), Morgan Sword (MLB Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations), Theo Epstein (MLB Consultant), and Hill. This group along with Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. will meet with the MLB University members at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego for a scheduled in-person training and networking reception.
“MLB University is going to be a critical component of our efforts to make sure that the talent at our middle executive levels receive both the training and industry mentorship that will put them into the best position for success in senior baseball operations or on-field roles,” said Commissioner Manfred. “We are excited about the curriculum we have developed that is designed to teach a wide range of front office skills. Mike has the full support of our office and our 30 Clubs to ensure these individuals have every opportunity to advance.”
“I am excited about the launch of MLB University and the work ahead to help develop and mentor the future leaders of our game,” said Hill. “MLB University was designed to identify high-ceiling diverse candidates and provide the critically important opportunities of training, exposure and access needed for a young person’s growth and to advance their careers. Under Commissioner Manfred’s leadership, this program will allow us to create a deeper pipeline of diverse young talent for future baseball operations leadership roles.”
MLB University is the latest component of MLB-led efforts to improve diverse representation of baseball operations and on-field roles. Entry-level pipeline programs for minority and female candidates include the MLB Diversity Fellowship, Take The Field and the Diversity Pipeline Scouting & Coaching Development programs. Currently, 88% of all MLB Diversity Fellows have full-time employment within Baseball, while nearly 30 Take The Field participants have been hired by MLB or Major/Minor League Clubs. The inaugural Scouting Development Program in 2021 led to 18 new hires and seven Club personnel receiving promotions into new roles. The Development Program, which is operated at the Arizona Fall League, expanded in 2022 to include coaching opportunities as well as additional slots for the scouting component.