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The Future of Minor League baseball

Started by Akshaj Gaur, November 21, 2020, 08:35:08 am

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Akshaj Gaur

With the impacts of the coronavirus and the previously planned reduction of teams, how do you see the role of the minors evolving over the next few years? We've already seen many teams be aggressive with their prospects, skipping the minors as a whole or making call-ups from A or A+.

Norton0723

Yeah ultimately I believe they will continue to consolidate. They don't need that many farm teams and everything else and I think they'll continue to be aggressive with the call ups as well.

Honestly the whole FA/arbitration rules needs changed as is so that teams will call their best players up instead of holding them down.
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Norton0723

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DavidLatham

I think minor league baseball as we previously knew it will be a thing of the past, which is a real shame. Wouldn't be surprised if they basically make one be-all, end-all single A league while keeping AA and AA relatively untouched

Norton0723

Yeah I agree. I'm not too upset about it personally. I understand the "traditionalists and purists" might not like it and I get that, but it's rare for any of those guys to make it anyways and if it can help consolidate and get better talent to the bigs quicker then I'm ok with it.

I get that some of these guys spend a lot of time there and there's the rare case but ultimately I think talent wins out more times than not so if they're good enough, they'll eventually make it to certain levels regardless.
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DavidLatham

Quote from: Norton0723 on November 21, 2020, 09:53:07 amYeah I agree. I'm not too upset about it personally. I understand the "traditionalists and purists" might not like it and I get that, but it's rare for any of those guys to make it anyways and if it can help consolidate and get better talent to the bigs quicker then I'm ok with it.

I get that some of these guys spend a lot of time there and there's the rare case but ultimately I think talent wins out more times than not so if they're good enough, they'll eventually make it to certain levels regardless.

I grew up next to a Low-A team that almost certainly won't exist moving forward, so there is a sentimentality angle with me. That said, I do think the minors serve as a great way for getting young fans into the game. Baseball is much better experienced live, and most can't afford to go to a major league game on any sort of regular basis. Add in the fact that the minors tend to have pretty fun gimmicks to keep the kids interested and I think it could be a great way to get a much-needed younger audience. Instead, they're cutting it down

Norton0723

Those are all very good points for sure. I guess I was looking at it from a bigger angle for sure. You do make great points as well. I also live near Cleveland where you can get some super cheap Tribe tickets a lot of different times too so that kinda sways it as well.

I will say I live right near the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League and have been to a lot of games and it's always fun especially for kids and I look forward to taking my son if they continue to be something so I totally understand that as well and it's a great point.
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Norton0723

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Steve Drumwright LWOS

I feel bad for the cities who will lose their affiliation with a major-league team. I remember going to minor-league games as a kid thinking that some of these guys might be playing in the majors some day. Hopefully MLB provides good alternatives to these cities, though who knows how many will want to continue after losing a full season of revenue due to the pandemic.

Franchises had to be aggressive this season since there were no minors. I think how prospects are handled goes back to what we have seen previously.
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DJKleinbard

Quote from: Norton0723 on November 21, 2020, 09:53:07 amYeah I agree. I'm not too upset about it personally. I understand the "traditionalists and purists" might not like it and I get that, but it's rare for any of those guys to make it anyways and if it can help consolidate and get better talent to the bigs quicker then I'm ok with it.

I get that some of these guys spend a lot of time there and there's the rare case but ultimately I think talent wins out more times than not so if they're good enough, they'll eventually make it to certain levels regardless.

For me, my first job out of college was as a group sales rep for the Staten Island Yankees. I think of all the nice people behind the scenes who now have their jobs in jeopardy and futures uncertain

Steve Drumwright LWOS

I wonder how many of these clubs would not be returning (due to the pandemic and financial strife) if not for the new arrangement. You would think with the MLB branding on these leagues, there has to be some financial support for operations.
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WaldoTerrier

My first job was working concessions for the Delmarva Shorebirds, and being at the ballpark every day was so much fun. I also know how much the organization does in the community, and they just finished a three-year renovation of the stadium to improve fan experience. In having many conversations with the GM of the team, they have little to do with player development and everything to do with fan and community engagement. That's the biggest thing that I think is getting overlooked with these decisions.

So many of these teams have done a tremendous job in bringing baseball to younger fans and letting them have more personal interactions with players. It'll be a shame to see much of this erased in many communities.

DavidLatham

Quote from: WaldoTerrier on December 04, 2020, 11:38:21 amMy first job was working concessions for the Delmarva Shorebirds, and being at the ballpark every day was so much fun. I also know how much the organization does in the community, and they just finished a three-year renovation of the stadium to improve fan experience. In having many conversations with the GM of the team, they have little to do with player development and everything to do with fan and community engagement. That's the biggest thing that I think is getting overlooked with these decisions.

So many of these teams have done a tremendous job in bringing baseball to younger fans and letting them have more personal interactions with players. It'll be a shame to see much of this erased in many communities.

Especially when the sport is having a major issue getting young people interested in the game. Really feels like every move they make is just shooting themselves in the foot

WaldoTerrier

Quote from: DavidLatham on December 04, 2020, 05:57:46 pmEspecially when the sport is having a major issue getting young people interested in the game. Really feels like every move they make is just shooting themselves in the foot
In five to ten years, when enrollment numbers in Little League and other youth baseball organizations is down, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

LWOS_Marilee

I'm honestly pretty worried about it. And you guys all pretty much outlined above my biggest reasons for missing it. Cities and states losing their connection to a team, fans being priced out from taking a family to a game, some players and workers losing an opportunity to make it to the bigs, etc.  Minor league baseball carries a certain allure and for me, the biggest loss will be getting to watch these players from the ground up. I love following the pipeline and the access to the players at that level is so much more than up the ladder. I liken it to independent wrestling promotions. By the time these wrestlers reach WWE, you're lucky to catch a glimpse without having to pay tons of money for meet and greets. But at the independent level, there are tons of opportunities to interact. And honestly, I think for baseball, those interactions more than anything else are what is going to get young kids to have that relationship with the sport. And MLB needs to grow their audience at a younger age to be viable. MiLB provides that opportunity on so many levels and I definitely think players and fans will be worse off without it.
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DavidLatham

Quote from: WaldoTerrier on December 05, 2020, 07:36:06 amIn five to ten years, when enrollment numbers in Little League and other youth baseball organizations is down, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

It's already pretty damn low, at least in my neck of the woods. Growing up we usually had 6-7 teams in my town alone (population: 12,000+/-). Last year they only had one and played against the surrounding towns

LWOSAARON

Quote from: DavidLatham on December 07, 2020, 03:14:48 amIt's already pretty damn low, at least in my neck of the woods. Growing up we usually had 6-7 teams in my town alone (population: 12,000+/-). Last year they only had one and played against the surrounding towns

Little league baseball is almost non-existent where I live now. 10 years ago it was a different story. Each league had about 6-10 teams in every age group. Very sad how things have changed