MLB takes MiLB clubs under its wings



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MLB takes MiLB under its wings Image: MLB & MiLB

The acceptance of all 120 US Minor League Baseball (MiLB) clubs to become Professional Development League (PDL) license holders under Major League Baseball (MLB) essentially translates into a leg-up for MiLB players and the same will prove to be a springboard for them to jump into the big league.

The Professional Development League is a system of baseball leagues that are managed, organized and controlled by Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is a hierarchy of professional baseball minor leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball (MLB) and help prepare players to join major league teams.

The Major League Baseball is an American professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in Major League Baseball: 15 teams in the National League and 15 in the American League.

milb.com sources reported recently that the MiLB has announced that those teams, selected as partners by Major League clubs, will be provided both facilities and communities that are essential to the development of the next generation of big league stars.

MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Junior said, “We are excited to unveil this new model, which not only provides a pipeline to the Majors, but continues the Minor Leagues’ tradition of entertaining millions of families in hundreds of communities. In modernizing our Minor League system, we prioritized the qualities that make the Minor Leagues such an integral part of our game while strengthening how we develop professional athletes on and off the field. We look forward to demonstrating the best of our game throughout local communities, supporting all those who are working hard to grow the sport, and sharing unrivaled technology and resources with minor league teams and players.”

For the 2021 season, the new minor league classification system divides leagues into one of the four classes – Triple A (AAA), Double A (AA), High A (A+), and Low-A (A). Earlier, there were five classes. The MLB franchises may also maintain a rookie team that will play in two domestic leagues, the Arizona League or Gulf Coast League, the lowest rung on the North American minor league ladder, and one foreign-based league – the Dominican Republic summer league.

The 30 Major League clubs will have one minor league affiliate in each of the four classes.

milb.com sources added that each MLB club will arrange and pay for Minor League players and staff to their four affiliates – one at each of the Triple-A, Double-A, High-A and Low-A levels.

A Minor League club operating with a PDL license from Major League clubs means an enhanced standard of facilities and players’ working conditions that will create improvements to the experience and lifestyle of Minor League players.
 

The perks

  • Augmented earnings with an expected salary increase ranging from 38-72 percent for players for the 2021 season;
  • State-of-art facilities more appropriate for professional athletes;
  • Improved amenities and working conditions for players and staff;
  • Restructuring being region-based, there will be reduced in-season travel for players and coaches; and
  • Improved geographical alignment.

 
The region-based reconfiguration means Major League clubs will now be in closer geographical proximity to their minor league affiliates in most instances. The closeness of the Major League clubs has been calculated as being on an average 200 miles nearer to their Triple-A teams. By creating better geographical integration between a Major League Club and its affiliates, fans too get to see an organization’s players climb up the ladder to attain major league heights from a minor league position, in their home region.

Fans, players and clubs throughout the United States and Canada will benefit from the new streamlined system. The reorganization will help preserve high-level, sustainable baseball in nearly every community where the game has historically been played, and broaden the scope for the sport to grow in the years to come.

The integrated player development system now includes 179 teams across 17 leagues in 43 States and four provinces. Including the Arizona and Gulf Coast Leagues, there are 209 teams across 19 leagues in 44 States and four provinces.

MiLB opined that the broader MLB player development system would give room to more teams joining and other baseball leagues in the coming weeks and months, further enhancing the minor league scenario for fans to cheer on their favorites.

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