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  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    56,587

    Do we Need Minor League Baseball Clubs?

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ague-baseball/

    Do We Even Need Minor League Baseball?
    Player development off the field may be rendering farm systems irrelevant.

    Since the 1970s, Major League Baseball clubs have generally added more and more minor league affiliates. In 1979, there were an average of 4.7 affiliates per major league club.1 This season there are 8.2 — a total of 245 minor league affiliates, the most since 1948, spread across 30 major league organizations.

    But the Houston Astros, a model of modern player development, bucked that trend a few years ago. After the 2017 season, they reduced their affiliate count from nine to seven clubs. The Astros believed they could become a more efficient producer of talent with fewer farm clubs.

    “For the baseball people, it was a feeling that it was better to concentrate the coaching resources. We were trying to support a bunch of players that had a less than one percent chance of making the major leagues,” said an ex-Astros official whose current team didn’t grant him permission to speak to us.

    The Astros felt comfortable cutting the teams in part because of data harvested from new tech. Since turning over the vast majority of their player development staff and minor league coaches under GM Jeffrey Luhnow, the Astros feel they have become better at identifying which players have a chance to rise through their system. For example, while a number of teams were experimenting with their first high-speed cameras this spring to study pitch grips and body mechanics, the Astros had 75 such cameras hard-mounted at stadiums throughout their minor league affiliates last season. According to the ex-Astros official, the team believes it needs less time and fewer games to understand potential, and it is better served by consolidating resources around their most promising players.

    The Astros aren’t the only ones questioning the structure of the minor leagues in their organization. For decades, baseball has generally treated player development as a ladder. First comes Rookie ball, then multiple levels of Single-A ball leading up to Double-A, then Triple-A, then finally the majors.3 But recently some players — like young stars Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., and lesser talents like David Peralta and Rougned Odor — have skipped rungs. And they aren’t worse for it.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2011
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    That's a good question because the best talent is going to make it most of the time anyway. Is it worth it for the few guys who figure it out later into their minor league run to keep so many players who aren't going to make it around? Its a tough question to answer.

  3. #3
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    Only difference between the Astros and other teams is the number of Rookie League teams at the very bottom. It's still a ladder. Every team's system has:

    AAA
    AA
    High A
    Low A
    Short Season A
    Rookie

    The Astros have 2 rookie level teams whereas some teams have as many as 4. Angels, Oakland, ChiSox, Orioles, Twins, Mariners, Brewers, Nationals have the same structure as the Astros with 2. The Rays which have done well developing players have 9. The Dodgers have 8. Don't see the advantage of 6. The advantage may lie in their adoption of technology.
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly.” -- Teddy Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    56,587
    Quote Originally Posted by Dugmet View Post
    Only difference between the Astros and other teams is the number of Rookie League teams at the very bottom. It's still a ladder. Every team's system has:

    AAA
    AA
    High A
    Low A
    Short Season A
    Rookie

    The Astros have 2 rookie level teams whereas some teams have as many as 4. Angels, Oakland, ChiSox, Orioles, Twins, Mariners, Brewers, Nationals have the same structure as the Astros with 2. The Rays which have done well developing players have 9. The Dodgers have 8. Don't see the advantage of 6. The advantage may lie in their adoption of technology.
    The idea is that maybe we can do with a lot less and be more successful with more concentration on coaching

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Yes we do. Because I enjoy going to AAA games on occasion.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2004
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    AAA has become a place for ex major leaguers to possibly make a comeback.

  7. #7
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    Do we Need Minor League Baseball Clubs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    The idea is that maybe we can do with a lot less and be more successful with more concentration on coaching
    no evidence less is more by itself.

    The headline is ridiculous as is the very first sentence. The text does not substantiate the wild claims.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Dugmet; 09-11-2019 at 03:50 AM.
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly.” -- Teddy Roosevelt

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugmet View Post
    no evidence less is more by itself.

    The headline is ridiculous as is the very first sentence. The text does not substantiate the wild claims.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    To concentrate coaching time and effort?

    Of course that's more with less.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Yet somehow the Phillies need 12 people on their coaching staff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crucis View Post
    Parity is about equality of opportunity, not equality of results.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2008
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    I think the premise is fine, but as others have pointed out, they aren't exactly zigging super hard where others are zagging. Other orgs already sort of had this structure in place previously. But to the main point, every lower level of orgs have dead weight with an impossibly slim chance of making it. I have a local low a team near where I live and have gone to a few games and you know instantly how many guys are even semi legit. And it's usually less than 5 or 6 guys per team. I cant imagine the quality of some of those 3rd and 4th tier rookie league rosters.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    I think the premise is fine, but as others have pointed out, they aren't exactly zigging super hard where others are zagging. Other orgs already sort of had this structure in place previously. But to the main point, every lower level of orgs have dead weight with an impossibly slim chance of making it. I have a local low a team near where I live and have gone to a few games and you know instantly how many guys are even semi legit. And it's usually less than 5 or 6 guys per team. I cant imagine the quality of some of those 3rd and 4th tier rookie league rosters.
    Yeah.

    I mean, every organization has hundreds of prospects in their system. What could you do if you had 50 that you concentrated on instead and gave your best coaches the full time attention of those guys? Instead of just spreading it around to these really low levels where you have a former college coach and a few instructors? I get the lottery idea. But those guys have a really low probability.

    Put your top draft picks together with your best coaches and put them at 2 or 3 levels in total and see what can happen

  12. #12
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    Jan 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffy25 View Post
    Yeah.

    I mean, every organization has hundreds of prospects in their system. What could you do if you had 50 that you concentrated on instead and gave your best coaches the full time attention of those guys? Instead of just spreading it around to these really low levels where you have a former college coach and a few instructors? I get the lottery idea. But those guys have a really low probability.

    Put your top draft picks together with your best coaches and put them at 2 or 3 levels in total and see what can happen
    I think you can do both. You could still consolidate all of your best coaches with your best talent and leave your lottery tickets with your lesser coaches. More of a revamp of how teams choose to use their minor league clubs and how they decide who goes to which level.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Of It All View Post
    AAA has become a place for ex major leaguers to possibly make a comeback.
    Do you think thats good or bad?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IHateTheSkins View Post
    Do you think thats good or bad?
    Good.

    Rajai Davis: 2-out double with based loaded in the eighth. Mets 3 Dodgers 0.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly.” -- Teddy Roosevelt

  15. #15
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    Jul 2006
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    18,934
    Seems silly. Baseball is really the only sport where players aren't close to being ready out of high school/college. Maybe hockey. I get the point but think it's silly.

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