The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that they have added a new minor league affiliate in the Appy League. The team will play in Bristol, VA, starting in 2014. The Pirates Bristol affiliate will play in the five team Appalachian League West Division along with Kingsport (New York Mets), Greeneville (Houston), Elizabethton (Minnesota) and Johnson City (St. Louis).
The Appalachian League is a rookie league, on the same level as the GCL. Presumably this will allow the Pirates to give more playing time and development to younger players, although I'm not sure exactly how big of an impact this could provide. People will look at this and envision an entire team of prospects that could benefit. In reality, the amount of players who could benefit would be minimal.
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.