Czech Prospect Milan Prokop Signs With Independent Team in Japan

Czech Republic players line up for the national anthem prior to the World Baseball Classic Pool B game between Czech Republic and Korea at Tokyo Dome on March 12, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Czechia national team infielder Milan Prokop signed with the Kanagawa Futures Dreams team in Japan’s Baseball Challenge League, Baseball Czech’s X account reported on January 24. 

The Baseball Challenge League is an independent league in Japan and does not have an affiliation with Nippon Professional Baseball. 

Prokop, 20, was born in Brno, Czech Republic, and has played four seasons in the Czech Extraliga with the Trebic Nuclears in 2020 and the Draci Brno from 2021-23. The Czech Extraliga is operated by Česká Baseballová Asociace. 

Last season with Draci Brno, Prokop had 194 plate appearances, hitting .348 with 55 hits, nine doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 28 RBI, swiping 20 bases, 24 walks, 36 strikeouts, and a 1.040 OPS. 

Draci Brno finished in first place during the 2023 season at 13-8 and won their 24th championship Extraliga title, beating Tempo Prague in six games. 

Prokop played in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with the Czechia national team in Group B at the Tokyo Dome. The 2023 WBC was the first time that the Czech Republic played in the event, and Prokop played in two games at the 2023 WBC with two at-bats with one strikeout.

Prokop made his debut with the Czechia national team and played in two games at second base during the 2023 WBC qualifiers in September 2022 in Regensburg, Germany, and did not record a hit. The Czech Republic beat Spain 3-1 during the final qualifier to reach the WBC for the first time. 

During his four seasons in the Extraliga, Prokop has 490 plate appearances, hitting .280 with 113 hits, 24 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs, 64 RBI, 38 stolen bases, 58 walks, 94 strikeouts, and a .833 OPS. 

Prokop played with the Czech national team in the 2021 U-18 European Championship and the 2021 U-23 European Championship prior to playing with the senior national team. 

Opening day for the 2024 Baseball Challenge League season will be April 6, and teams can report to training camp on March 7. The league has not announced their schedule for the 2024 season. 

The Fukushima Red Hopes, the Gunma Diamond Pegasus, the Shinano Grandserows, the Ibaraki Astro Planets, the Tochigi Golden Braves and the Saitama Musashi Heat Bears. The Yamanashi Prefectural Baseball Team will also participate in the BCL 2024 season for its inaugural year. 

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