Author Topic: The future of the minor leagues  (Read 248 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline LincolnDD

  • Posts: 57
Re: The future of the minor leagues
« Reply #25: September 14, 2020, 08:39:01 PM »
MLB's bottom line is what this is all about.

That's the UNstated goal.

Offline LincolnDD

  • Posts: 57
Re: The future of the minor leagues
« Reply #26: September 14, 2020, 08:59:44 PM »
I'm really curious to see how this works out. It doesn't seem to me that there are enough teams placed in a manner that reduces travel within leagues and aligns team geographically with the parents orgs and other affiliates.

To be sure, logistically, there is a set of relationships (affiliates, leagues, etc) that optimizes the problem. But given how teams and affiliations never achieved that solution on their own, I have doubts that they'll be able to achieve it now.

It's definitely going to be a challenge.  We could see some pretty drastic changes, with teams and maybe entire leagues changing levels, and leagues getting split up.  From a Nationals perspective, the early rumor was Fresno being demoted to the California League, and the PCL dropping down to ten teams.

I know in the past people have wondered why the Nats don't just stick their AAA team in Richmond, only to be told it really wasn't that easy to make happen.  This time around, though, it could be a possibility.  The old rules won't apply when the current MLB/MiLB agreement expires in a few weeks.

Here are some scenarios I've found.  Not sure I see these as completely logical, but they do give a sense of what we could see:

Johns Hopkins (I believe these are the folks who typically create MiLB schedules):  https://releases.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Minor-League-Baseball-Realignment-v5-03-18-20.pdf

Don't know who this is, but I liked some of his ideas:  https://medium.com/@marklavis/a-seismic-minor-league-baseball-realignment-scenario-c9187173239a

Offline Elvir Ovcina

  • Posts: 3785
Re: The future of the minor leagues
« Reply #27: September 15, 2020, 09:23:18 AM »
It's definitely going to be a challenge.  We could see some pretty drastic changes, with teams and maybe entire leagues changing levels, and leagues getting split up.  From a Nationals perspective, the early rumor was Fresno being demoted to the California League, and the PCL dropping down to ten teams.

I know in the past people have wondered why the Nats don't just stick their AAA team in Richmond, only to be told it really wasn't that easy to make happen.  This time around, though, it could be a possibility.  The old rules won't apply when the current MLB/MiLB agreement expires in a few weeks.

Here are some scenarios I've found.  Not sure I see these as completely logical, but they do give a sense of what we could see:

Johns Hopkins (I believe these are the folks who typically create MiLB schedules):  https://releases.jhu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Minor-League-Baseball-Realignment-v5-03-18-20.pdf

Don't know who this is, but I liked some of his ideas:  https://medium.com/@marklavis/a-seismic-minor-league-baseball-realignment-scenario-c9187173239a

I think those are (mostly) as logical as what MLB is likely to come up with.  Going back to three AAA leagues in particular makes a lot of sense.  Neither of these fixes the problem with AA's geographical distribution.  The problem is that there just aren't enough teams west of the Rockies to have every level there (especially if you kill the Pioneer and further reduce the Northwest, even while turning into either A or A+). 

But I gotta give it to the second guy - he sure was projecting some personal fantasies and lack of perspective there. 

Offline LincolnDD

  • Posts: 57
Re: The future of the minor leagues
« Reply #28: September 16, 2020, 10:00:22 AM »
I think those are (mostly) as logical as what MLB is likely to come up with.  Going back to three AAA leagues in particular makes a lot of sense.  Neither of these fixes the problem with AA's geographical distribution.  The problem is that there just aren't enough teams west of the Rockies to have every level there (especially if you kill the Pioneer and further reduce the Northwest, even while turning into either A or A+). 

But I gotta give it to the second guy - he sure was projecting some personal fantasies and lack of perspective there.

I do think he took some weird leaps.  He put affiliates for Baltimore and Philadelphia, two of the more (currently) geographically condensed organizations, in the Midwest League; can't see either going for that.  I also thought his swapping entire leagues between High A and Low A was a little aggressive when I first read it, though reportedly it has been discussed by the negotiators. 

I came across a SF Giants podcast a few weeks ago that had JJ Cooper from Baseball America as a guest, and he discussed the lack of close options for West Coast teams.  He said that, despite MLB planning to turn the NW League into full season and "strongly encouraging" West Coast teams to affiliate there, there are some teams that are fine with the distance (he mentioned specifically Dodgers-Great Lakes, Padres-Fort Wayne, and Giants-Augusta). 

So while getting teams into better geographic fits is a nice little goal, I don't know if it's really worth the effort.  And having an East Coast team house a Triple-A team with your MLB depth in Fresno isn't quite the same as having a Low-A team across the country, so AAA geography should be the real priority.  After that, I would say facilities standards and in-league travel should be the focus rather than getting them as close as possible to parent clubs. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

  • Global Moderator
  • ****
  • Posts: 29713
  • Platoon - not just a movie, a baseball obsession
Re: The future of the minor leagues
« Reply #29: September 16, 2020, 05:29:29 PM »

So while getting teams into better geographic fits is a nice little goal, I don't know if it's really worth the effort.  And having an East Coast team house a Triple-A team with your MLB depth in Fresno isn't quite the same as having a Low-A team across the country, so AAA geography should be the real priority.  After that, I would say facilities standards and in-league travel should be the focus rather than getting them as close as possible to parent clubs. 
priority should be getting the upper 2 levels (AAA and AA) close to the home team and the A and Rookie as close together to each other rather than to the parent club.   Very few teams call up from A ball directly.  It does mean a bit more travel for minor league instructors and evaluators, but, financially, that beats extra team travel for lower levels.