The Nashville Sounds will have company on the local baseball scene this summer.
The Nashville Outlaws were introduced Thursday as the newest member of the Prospect League, a summer wood bat league for players who have completed one year of college competition and have remaining eligibility.
Founded by three former Sounds’ executives, the Outlaws will play a 56-game schedule from June through August. The 28 home games will be played at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field.
The Prospect League (formerly known as the Central Illinois Collegiate League) began play in 2009 with 11 teams and expanded this year to 15 teams with the addition of Nashville and three others. In December, Dekalb County (Ill.), Terre Haute and West Virginia (Beckley, W.V.) were added.
The league is based in Chillicothe, Ohio and consists of teams throughout the Midwest.
“It’s a great league with a great approach of combining a developmental league with the feel of minor league baseball,” Brandon Vonderharr, president and general manager of the Outlaws, said.
Vonderhaar said the franchise would hire a coach who will be largely responsible for compiling the roster. He added that he expects the majority of players to come from colleges and universities in Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama as well as local prospects who would like to play close to home for the summer.
“There’s literally hundreds of quality baseball players in the Middle Tennessee are who would be terrific prospects for this league,” Vonderhaar said. “We’ll be looking for a manager to do a lot of that work.”
He added that the initial response to Thursday’s announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.
“My phone’s been ringing off the hook, and my e-mail box is full,” Vonderhaar said.
For more information on the Nashville Outlaws, click here.