Frederick Keys Drop Affiliation With Baltimore Orioles



They’ve joined the new MLB Draft League.


Frederick, Md (KM). There will be some changes to the Frederick Keys next year. The team has dropped its long time affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles and has become part of the Major League Draft League.

General Manager Dave Ziedelis say the players will be college juniors and seniors who will get a chance to show off their skills in anticipation of being drafted by a major league team. “In the past, all of our players were hoping to make to the major leagues with the Orioles,” he says. “Now, actually, we could have players playing with us get drafted by any of the 30 major league teams. So it’s very possible that any given year, our players will then be playing for several different major teams down the road.”

In the past, the Keys have sent more than 160 players to the major league  throughout  its  history. “It’s just now, we’ll get the players a little bit young before they’ve been drafted,” Ziedelis says.

In 2021, he says the Keys’ season is expected to start in late May, and end by mid-August with an All Star break.

Even though the team will no longer be a Baltimore Orioles’ affiliate, Ziedelis says the Keys will still have a relationship with the O’s. “We drop our direct affiliation, but the Orioles are going to continue to provide support to Frederick and the Keys in the form of community and economic development initiatives,” he says.

“They {the Orioles} certainly want to continue to build baseball in Maryland and the economic impact it provides statewide,” Ziedelis continues. “We just won’t be directly affiliated in terms of our players will be employees of the Orioles per se.”

This is good news for the Keys because last year its future was in doubt. It was a list of minor league teams that could have been  eliminated.   “Part of that was reducing the number of affiliated teams from 162 to 120. And also changing some of the geography and the team travel. There are  all kinds of changes going on, and this is part of that,” says Ziedelis.

The Keys 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirub pandemic. But Ziedelis says the team will be taking precautions against COVID-19 if the pandemic last into the spring of 2021. “We follow the State of Maryland and Frederick County in the all of the executive orders and restrictions and percentages, whether that’s in a restaurant setting, whether that’s in a large facility setting,” says Ziedelis. “We know what we need to do internally, in terms of social distancing, certainly masks, hand sanitizer.”


By Kevin McManus