When the New Balance Baseball Futures Stars Series Powered by Program 15 were looking to hold their next event in the New England area, it seemed only logical that they’d look to partner with a group that’s been at the forefront of player development in that area.
The Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) and Brockton Rox will host an invite-only tournament with testing for enhanced college and professional exposure during the first week of October, 2019.
Given NBBFSS/P15 CEO Jeremy Booth’s long relationship with CEO Chris Hall as well as Rox GM Todd Marlin, and a partnership was seemingly inevitable.
“I’ve known Chris and Todd for a long time since we were all involved in the Can-Am league,” Booth said. “They’ve done an excellent job with the Futures League in building it from the ground up. They’ve seen their endeavor grow to a national level as a proving ground for collegiate players as they grind to move forward. Their reach stretches deep into the college ranks, and were excited to partner up with a group who’s professionally and progressively minded to being a full exposure and development product to the northeast regions.”
The Future Stars Series has seen a meteoric rise over the past few years since its inception, with partner programs joining at an increasingly rapid rate and the quality of events continuing to improve to previously unseen levels; many in the industry are still buzzing about International Week at Camelback Ranch despite now being more than two months removed from the wildly successful three-game series.
As for the Futures League, it was co-developed by Drew Weber and long-time force in independent baseball Chris Carminucci back in 2010, and has a lengthy list of alumni who’ve gone on to be drafted, including 2015 first-rounder Chris Shaw as well as 28 players this year.
“The Futures League has just continued to grow,” said Marlin, whose Rox are hosting the event. “It’s gotten better every year; the quality of play has gotten better. Some people may look from the outside looking in and say we’ve lost teams, but sometimes you get stronger by making changes and growing in the right direction, and I think that’s what the league is set up to do now.
“Brockton itself, we’re really evolving. It was a tough few years there before we came in, and we had a couple tough ones ourselves. But, we’re trying to rebuild those alliances within the community that were lost over the years, and we’re starting to show signs of that. We’re growing – not as quickly as we want, but it’s getting there – and we’re starting to learn the market a whole lot better.”
Forging a logical partnership like the upcoming one with P15 and can only help both groups, especially given how like-minded they both are in regards to the importance of development.
“I’d known Jeremy through his days of playing when I was running Nashua or Worcester, we’d had dealings, and I knew Chris Hall has been friends with him for a long time as well,” Marlin said.
“I just think this is a really natural fit for the two programs; New Balance being right in our backyard doesn’t hurt at all either…everything that we can do like this helps us. It’s a little bit different for the types of things that we do. This in particular is going to bring some credence to what we’re doing here in Brockton, and it’s also going to show us an opportunity to show off our facility, which we really like to do, especially to kids who might have hopes of hopefully being in the Futures League in a few years.”
It’s most likely the start of a partnership that can only continue to grow, which future events likely to come down the road after a likely successful debut in October.
“I would really hope so,” Marlin said. “I would hope that something like this continues to grow and can spread throughout New England. I know Jeremy’s got lots of big visions, and if we can be a part of that, we would be very happy with it.”