CINCINNATI: Baseball United, the first-ever professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has announced that its 2023 draft will be held Tuesday, Sept. 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The draft will feature the league’s first four franchises and reveal the players who will participate in Baseball United’s Dubai Showcase this November. Players will be selected from the Baseball United player pool, which was announced earlier this year.
Cincinnati is home to Baseball United’s US headquarters and its growing ecosystem of business, baseball, and brand-building partners. It has also played a pivotal role in baseball history: Cincinnati fielded the world’s first professional baseball team in 1869.
“The Baseball United draft is something our entire team has been dreaming about for a long time,” said Kash Shaikh, Baseball United’s president, CEO, and majority owner. “After nearly two years of cross-continent work, we now get to make this league a reality for our players. I couldn’t be happier to be able to give guys a new opportunity to build, grow, and extend their professional careers. And there’s no better place to host our first-ever draft than the city that pioneered professional baseball more than 150 years ago.”
Baseball United’s inaugural draft will include the Mumbai Cobras, Karachi Monarchs and two yet-to-be-named franchises from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Each team will draft 16 players, with four additional prospects added later this year. The draft will consist of eight rounds, with each team making two selections per round.
The Mumbai Cobras — Baseball United’s first franchise — will have the first pick and select the first player drafted in Baseball United history.
“This is a big deal,” said Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Baseball United Co-Owner and Cincinnati native Barry Larkin. “There are so many talented players out there that have been one chance away from elevating their careers. Now, Baseball United gets to be that one chance. I can’t wait to welcome several of the guys to Cincinnati — my hometown — to celebrate this historic milestone.”
Player selection for Baseball United’s player pool and draft was created by Baseball United’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations John Miedreich and Vice President of Baseball Operations Eddie Diaz. Miedreich and Diaz will partner with Shaikh on draft strategy for each franchise, as the teams are all currently owned by the league. Larkin will also assist in the draft process as the Cobras’ Honorary general manager.
“John and Eddie have done an incredible job assembling a diverse pool of players that come from more than 30 countries and have competed at the highest levels of professional baseball,” said Shaikh. “Their network, relationships, and player evaluation process has put us in a great position to be one of the best professional baseball leagues in the world from a talent perspective come November.”
The league’s top anticipated draft picks, as well as several members of its ownership group, will descend on Cincinnati for the historic event. The draft will be streamed live on baseballunited.com, as well as on Baseball United’s social media channels.