Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball is a level of professional baseball in North America. It is made up a many different teams which play in many leagues and levels of skill. Minor league teams are used by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams to have a place to put their players who they do not feel are skilled enough to play in the major leagues yet. They are also used to help injured major league players get ready to play in MLB again. These partnerships between major and minor league teams are called affiliations. Minor league teams generally play in cities that are too small for major league teams. City size usually increases with league level.
There are five different classifications (skill levels) in the minor leagues, these classes are (in order from lowest to highest):
- Complex League (or Rookie League)
- Double-A (or AA)
- Triple-A (or AAA)
When a normal player is first drafted or signed by an MLB team, he is usually placed on a Complex League team, however more advanced players may start higher. If a player plays good in his league, he can be promoted or "called up" to the next league. If a player does not play well, he may be sent back down or removed from the team. This continues until a player gets to the major leagues, although most players never make it that far. This way, players are able to get better at baseball before having to play against tougher opponents. Almost all players in MLB had to play in the minor leagues first to become good enough to play in the major leagues. Most players spend four to five years in the minors before making it to MLB. However, skilled players can be called up earlier, while some may take more than 10 years to reach the majors.
Sometimes, major league players who are have been hurt will play a few games in the minor leagues before playing in the major leagues again, in order to see if they feel healthy enough to start playing again.
There are other professional baseball leagues that are not affiliated with major league teams. These are known as "Independent Leagues". In these leagues, players do not go to higher or lower levels of ability. Players on these teams are usually those not drafted by an MLB team. They may also be players who played in major or minor leagues and are trying to get back. Major league teams may hire these independent players to play for their teams.
- "Teams in Minor League Baseball by Class". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved April 18, 2023.