Over the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates added a new short-season team, joining the Appalachian League with the franchise in Bristol. The Appalachian League uses the MLB team names, and thus, the Bristol Pirates were born.

The Pirates will only have one DSL team this year, rather than two in previous years. Because of this, they have essentially moved their second international team to the US. This can be shown by the large number of international players who will be playing in Bristol this year. Most of these guys are organizational fillers, which means their only role will be to fill out the rosters of the lower level teams in the minors.

Bristol is a slight step above the GCL, due to the atmosphere of playing in front of fans, and under the lights. The age at the new level is a...

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