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Old 09-10-2019, 05:33 PM   #1
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Do We Even Need Minor League Baseball?

Do We Even Need Minor League Baseball?

I really like the thoughts in this article. I've been thinking along this line for years as I go to Midwest League games and watch players that have no chance of making it to the majors. How much effort and resources are put into hundreds of players who just don't have it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:58 PM   #2
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Here in Cleveland we have a single-A team, the Lake County Captains, in the suburb of Eastlake. They are affiliated with the major league team.

Of course few of their players have any chance of playing in the majors. But for my wife and I the Captains are a fun, inexpensive alternative to going all the way downtown to see MLB ball.

They are within easy driving distance. Attending a game, having some snacks and buying some souvenirs doesn't cost a lot of money. The people who work at the ballpark are polite and helpful. This makes them a great option for elderly (and almost elderly, like us) fans who want to enjoy baseball without some drunk idiot screaming obscenities in the seat behind them.

To us the baseball is of good quality. Plus, we love to cheer on young men who are trying to achieve their dreams.

Major league teams are paying some players $20 million plus a year. Surely, supporting a farm team can't be that much of a financial drag.

We in Cleveland are lucky to have a major league team and a minor league team right here (two minor league teams if you count Akron, which is just down the highway). But I'm sure there are fans in lots of cities and towns where a minor league team is the only pro sports entertainment.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:38 PM   #3
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Minor league baseball is great for smaller towns/cities. It makes a nice family outing without spending a small fortune. In the past players stayed with with one organization and teams were dependent on their minor league teams to develop players to make them competitive. Now with free agency, teams can stay competitive through free agency. Also, a lot of the players played college ball and are much closer to being major league ready.
I hope minor leagues stay vibrant but it sounds like major league teams may decide it is not worth the expense.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:31 PM   #4
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Like everything, there are pluses and minuses

Doing away with minor leagues and putting some, select, players into camps might be a more efficient way to to develop the players, but

What happens when a player is released from a camp? Currently minor league players are scouted by the other teams and statistics are available. In a camp situation, other teams will have virtually no information about that player. His chance of catching on with another team will be minimal.

As for people, like myself, who enjoy minor league baseball it would suck to lose that. Though, surely, other leagues would develop to take their place. But these leagues would be lacking the best players. And that connection with the major league team, and being able to say, "I saw that guy play before he was a star" wouldn't exist.

This might benefit minor league players though. Currently, minor league pay is coming under fire. MLB has largely been able to avoid even paying minimum wage in some instances. Realistically, players don't have any other options for making it to the big leagues, though. Other leagues might have to pay better wages to attract players hoping to get invited to the camps. Could also work the other way, though. Fans might not care about this unaffiliated ball and teams might not be able to support themselves without the tie in to MLB

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Old 09-11-2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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Wait, so the vast majority of minor league players have zero chance of ever reaching the big leagues? Hmmm, seems like we as do gooders, or if not us, at least those great people that call themselves the NCAA should be doing something about this. Shouldn't every kid with an ounce of talent be forced to play at least one season of college baseball? I mean the kid wouldn't have to enroll until January, but he should have to enroll and play one season of college baseball, before signing a MLB contract. Personally this would make me feel so much better. Knowing a kid is being protected from the perils of the real world for one semester, before being cast into the do or die world of professional sports will make me sleep better nightly and may even stop me from choosing to become a meth dealer in the rural town I grew up in.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:32 PM   #6
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Shrink and Consolidate a bit perhaps...get rid of? No.

the AA vs AAA infographic is extremely misleading. First of all, small sample size alert. More importantly though, the fact that the player skips AAA (and the reality of the relative small number of players who do this) indicates these are the outlier extreme talent players that have "nothing left to prove in the minors". The argument would hold much more water if the number of players in both samples were closer.

MiLB though is a study in the laws of percentages. The more players in a system, the better your chances are of striking oil with the handful that actually graduate to the majors and make an impact. The talent is out there, it's a matter of having resources to develop and find the talent. For every Matt Bush there's a Mike Piazza. If the Dodgers didn't have multiple Rookie or SA or Low A affiliates, would Piazza even had had the chance to get playing time (or even a roster spot) and develop?

I'm bias though...I grew up and went to college near Trenton and had the pleasure of being able to go to Thunder games with my college buddies and watch a sport I played and loved for a fraction of the cost and time it would have cost if we tried to go to NY or Philly. And living in AZ now I get the opportunity to go to Spring Training and AFL games. The small stadiums and proximity to the field gives that grassroots feel which made baseball the national pasttime. Yes, it's nostalgia and all that...but that's what many of us love about baseball.
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