I am sitting in the Press Box at “The Diamond” in Richmond, Virginia. I am watching the Richmond Flying Squirrels play the New Britain Rock Cats. This is a Minor League Double-A game of the Eastern League. Richmond is affiliated with the San Francisco Giants, New Britain is affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.
There are currently three leagues at the Double-A level of baseball. The Eastern League, Southern League and the Texas League. The majority of teams put their top talent here. If you were like me, you would think that the Triple-A level would get the top talent but the thought process is the top prospects are assigned here to play against each other, rather than veterans of the minor and major league that are usually at Triple-A. Triple-A is a tough league because there are many guys with Big League experience and others who have just been in the game for a long time. Triple-A usually has more up and down moves to the Major Leagues, meaning it has a lot of “filler” type players for the MLB rosters rather than pure everyday talent.
Double-A baseball players are the most talented, which equates to, also, being the most consistently compared to the players at the lower levels. This is a big deal because you can be a great baseball player; but, if you can never find a groove and be consistent, then you will never make it out of Rookie, or A-ball. Double-A is also a step below the Major Leagues in the sense that most up and coming players will get called up from Double-A. These tend to be more impact players. A lot of foreign professionals start at Double-A since it is expected that they will be at the MLB level before the end of the season. Their salaries are higher than most of the other prospects. So, if you want to know who are going to be the everyday players for your favorite MLB team in about three years, take a look at their current starting lineup of their Double-A team. Chances are you will see two or three that are good bets!
The above information gave you an overview of some of the thought process that goes into what players get assigned to the Double-A level. I find this stuff interesting and have often wondered what minor league players get paid. The only time in my life that I really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up was when I was a kid. I dreamed of one day being a professional baseball player. That dream died in high school when my extreme lack of baseball talent was exposed. I was probably lucky that the dreamed died then since when you examine the below information you realize that most receive poverty level, or below, pay.
Here is a chart on what players make per level:
|Level||1st Year||2nd Year||3rd Year|
|Short Season A||$1150||$1200||$1250|
The incentives include: $500 bonus after 60 days in Double-A time, $1000 bonus after 60 days Triple-A time, $5000 bonus after 60 days Big League time. All minor league players receive $20 meal money per day that the team is away from home. Not including the off season.
Minor League Baseball Players do not get paid during Spring Training. They only receive $20 for every meal the team doesn’t provide. Some teams provide all meals which means the players get paid nothing, while some teams don’t provide dinner.
Therefore those players would get $140 a week for meal money. There aren’t many other things to consider when determining how much money Minor League Baseball Players make / get paid besides the signing bonus. But that is just a one time payment and varies very much depending on where a player was drafted.
“Most earn between $3,000 and $7,500 for a five-month season. As a point of comparison, fast food workers typically earn between $15,000 and $18,000 a year, or about two or three times what minor league players make. Some minor leaguers, particularly those with families, hold other jobs during the offseason and occasionally during the season. While the minimum salary in Major League Baseball is $500,000, many minor league players earn less than the federal poverty level, which is $11,490 for a single person and $23,550 for a family of four….” (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/03/minor-leaguers-working-poor-lawsuit-mlb-bud-selig)
If you wanted to know what teams were in the different Double A leagues:
The following are the teams in the Eastern League, the MLB team they are affiliated with are in brackets: Akron RubberDucks (CLE), Altoona Curve (PIT), Binghampton Mets (NYM), Bowie BaySox (BAL), Erie Seawolves (DET), Harrisburg Senators (WAS), New Britain Rock Cats (MIN), New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR), Portland Sea Dogs (BOS), Reading Fightin Phils (PHI), Trenton Thunder (NYY), Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF).
The following are the teams in the Southern League, the MLB team they are affiliated with are in brackets: Tennessee Smokies (CHC), Birmingham Barons (CWS), Chattanooga Lookouts (LAD), Huntsville Stars (MIL), Jackson Generals (SEA), Mobile BayBears (ARI), Jacksonville Suns (MIA), Mississippi Braves (ATL), Montgomery Biscuits (TB), Pensacola Blue Wahoos (CIN).
The following are the teams in the Texas League, the MLB team they are affiliated with are in brackets: Arkansas Travelers (LAA), NW Arkansas Naturals (KC), Springfield Cardinals (STL), Tulsa Drillers (COL), Frisco Rough Riders (TEX), Corpus Christi Hooks (HOU), San Antonio Missions (SD), Midland Rock Hounds (OAK).
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