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Tampa Bay Rays sign extension with Princeton Rays

The Rays will have a team in Princeton through at least 2020

Adrian Rondon while with the Princeton Rays in 2016

The Tampa Bay Rays reached an agreement with the Appalachian League team the Princeton Rays, to continue serving as their Rookie-Level team through 2020.

The Rays and Princeton have been partnered since 1997 with Princeton serving as the home to several notable players over the course of the run, with the likes of Carl Crawford, Alex Cobb, Alex Colome, and Matt Moore making stops there. Princeton has also served a launching ground for managers with Durham Bulls, as Jared Sandberg began his coaching career in Princeton.

Princeton has served as a major league affiliate since 1988 when they were a part of the Pittsburgh Pirate organization. In 1990, the Pirates vacated and instead, three teams (Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, and the Chicago Cubs) made up the Princeton Patriots.

In 1991, the Cincinnati Reds came to town and were partnered with Princeton through the 1996 season until Tampa Bay took the reins.

Princeton generally serves as the first professional experience for many of the Rays minor leaguers as they’re placed at the Rookie-Level upon being drafted out of high school. It’s also a common stop along the way for players from the Gulf Coast League.

This past season, the Princeton Rays were 31-36 and finished in 4th place in the Appalachian League East division.