NILES, Ohio — When the MLB Draft League kicks off its 2021 season next month, there will be a familiar face in the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' dugout. On Monday, Major League Baseball and Prep Baseball Report announced that former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp will serve as the Scrappers' manager this season.
“I enjoy coaching at any level, but more than anything, I love just being around and talking baseball,” Crisp said in a release. “So, for me, it’s an honor to be chosen as one of the MLB Draft League’s managers, especially in the League’s first year, with so many high-caliber players involved. I look forward to passing along my passion for the sport and sharing my experiences and knowledge with all the players.
“Many of these kids didn’t necessarily get the type of opportunity and looks they deserve last year because of the pandemic, so to have the MLB Draft League in place, giving players the opportunity to be seen -- it means a lot.”
This season will mark the first in the existence of the MLB Draft League, which was formed during a reorganizing of MLB's minor league baseball system late last year. Featuring five teams in four states, the league will feature top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB teams that summer.
Prior to joining the MLB Draft League, the Scrappers served as the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Indians from 1999-2020. In December, the Indians announced plans for their reorganized minor league system.
Acquired by the Indians in 2002 in a trade that sent pitcher Chuck Finley to the St. Louis Cardinals, Crisp spent parts of five seasons over the course of two stints in Cleveland during his 15-year Major League career. After being traded to the Boston Red Sox following the 2005 season, Crisp went on to also spend time as a member of the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics before being traded back to the Indians for the second half of the 2016 campaign in what marked the final season of his career.