Introduction to Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is a minor professional baseball league in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that is affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB). MiLB is comprised of 160 teams in 13 leagues, each with a different classification. The MiLB system is divided into two levels, Triple-A (AAA) and Double-A (AA), which are further divided into four classifications: Short-Season A, A, AA, and AAA.
Minor League Baseball is the top developmental system for professional baseball in the United States. It provides an opportunity for players to develop their skills outside of the Major League, as well as a path for players to eventually reach the major leagues.
Organization of Minor League Baseball
MiLB is organized into levels based on the level of competition and the location of the team. At the highest level is Triple-A (AAA), which consists of teams located in cities in the United States and Canada. These teams are affiliated with MLB teams and are considered to be the highest level of Minor League Baseball. Below Triple-A is Double-A (AA), which is divided into four classifications: Short-Season A, A, AA, and AAA.
Minor League Teams
The teams that make up Minor League Baseball are organized into leagues, each with its own divisional structure. Teams are typically affiliated with a MLB team, and the MLB team provides players and coaches to the minor league team. In some cases, the MLB team owns the minor league team outright, while in other cases the minor league team is owned by a separate entity.
Minor League Seasons
Minor League Baseball teams typically play a 140-game season, with the season beginning in April and ending in September. The length of the season varies by league, with some leagues playing a shorter schedule. In addition to the regular season, some minor league teams participate in postseason tournaments, such as the Arizona Fall League and the International League playoffs.
Minor League Playoffs
At the end of the regular season, the top teams in each division in Triple-A and Double-A will advance to the playoffs. The playoffs consist of a best-of-five series and the winner of the series will advance to the championship game. The championship game is a one-game playoff and the winner of the game is crowned the champion of the league.
Minor League All-Star Games
Minor League Baseball also hosts All-Star Games at each level of the MiLB system. These games feature the best players from each league and are typically played in July or August. The winner of the game is awarded the Joe Bauman Trophy, which is named after the former minor league baseball player who won the most home runs in a single season.
Minor League Draft
The Minor League Baseball Draft is held every June and is used by MLB teams to select eligible players from the various minor league teams. Players are eligible to be drafted if they are at least 18 years old, have graduated from high school, or have been out of high school for at least one year. Players who are selected in the draft are then assigned to a Minor League team for the start of the season.
Minor League Salaries
Minor League Baseball players are typically paid much less than their major league counterparts. The average salary for a minor leaguer is around $2,150 per month, with players at the higher levels making more. Salaries for players in the MiLB are typically negotiated between the player and the team.
Promotion to Major League Baseball
The goal of every Minor League Baseball player is to eventually reach the major leagues. Players who perform well in the minors may be promoted to the majors, while those who do not may be released or traded. Players may also be called up to the majors as a “September call-up” when rosters expand in September.
Minor League Baseball offers an opportunity for players to develop their skills and reach the major leagues. The MiLB system is organized into a two-tiered system, with Triple-A and Double-A teams playing a 140-game season. The Minor League Baseball Draft is held every June, and players can be promoted to the majors if they perform well in the minors.