The Texas Rangers have invited four MiLB teams to be their 2021 affiliates, with two changing classifications.
The Texas Rangers have announced that their minor league affiliates for the 2021 season will be Round Rock, Frisco, Hickory and Down East.
For the 2021 season, the Rangers have regained the rights to Triple-A Round Rock, and have retained the rights to Double-A Frisco, High-A Hickory and Low-A Down East.
After Houston surprisingly dropped their affiliation with the Express, regaining the rights to Round Rock is a sight for sore eyes for Rangers fans.
The team’s AAA affiliate from 2011-18, Round Rock was an easy drive for minor leaguers who got called up to Arlington. A sad ending will now be brought back to life, as it appears the Texas Rangers and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan are back on good terms.
The Nashville Sounds filled in for two seasons, from 2019-2020, but have been selected by the Milwaukee Brewers as their new Triple-A affiliate.
As for the rest of the minor league system, Texas will retain Frisco, Hickory and Down East.
Frisco has been apart of the Rangers organization since 2003, and has seen MLB greats like Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler, Chris Davis and Joey Gallo come through its ranks. Many notable Rangers played for Frisco and made the jump straight to Arlington, like Elvis Andrus and Gallo.
As for the Hickory Crawdads, they have been apart of the Texas organization since 2009, and Down East has been affiliated since 2017.
This marks an end to the rookie leagues for Major League Baseball under MLB’s new player development agreement. Nothing has been finalized yet, as all minor league teams must reach an agreement with their Major League organizations.