As it was discussed before mlb wants to contract the minors. They say it is to concentrate ressources in player dev and scouting better on fewer players creating a quality instead of quantity approach but cost also plays a big role, not only player salaries but also facilities and coaches.

Milb doesn't want contraction of course and went public with this which mlb didn't like.

Now mlb is increasing the pressure to accept the contraction or else ending the relationship with milb and find other affiliates (or run it by themselves).

I wonder how this will end. I think milb doesn't have much power and will have to accept the contraction, mlb is holding all the strings here.

 

 

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When you live in Iowa, home of the Iowa caucuses, here's what you start to see this time of year. Doubt that this will help the minors much, but at least people are becoming more aware of the situation.

 

Michael Bennet Calls on MLB Commissioner to Save Minor League Baseball in Colorado, Iowa, and Nationwide

 

DAVENPORT, IA — Michael Bennet this week sent a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, urging the league to reconsider its proposal to eliminate 42 minor league baseball teams across the country. The proposal, which would affect two teams in Colorado and three in Iowa, would destroy beloved community institutions that serve as an affordable entertainment option for families and an important economic engine in small cities.

Bennet visited eastern Iowa this week, hosting meet and greets with caucusgoers in Muscatine, Clinton, and the Quad Cities. Both Clinton and the Quad Cities stand to lose their minor league teams under this proposal.

Read the full letter here and below:

December 2, 2019

Robert D. Manfred Jr.

Commissioner of Baseball

Major League Baseball

245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor

New York, NY 10167

 

Dear Commissioner Manfred:

 

I am writing to join several members of Congress, community leaders, and baseball fans around the country to strongly oppose a proposal that would eliminate more than forty minor league teams, many in rural communities and small cities. Coloradans have a strong bond with the Colorado Rockies and its minor league affiliates—at least two of which would be eliminated under this proposal. This is true of Americans everywhere, including in states like Iowa, where three of the five minor league teams would be eliminated.

 

For most Americans, a minor league park is where they get their first glimpse of professional players and their first taste of the thrill of watching America’s pastime.

 

Minor league teams give families an affordable, convenient way to enjoy the game they love—all while serving as a vital farm system for the next generation of elite professional talent. Watching baseball in person builds lasting loyalty in fans unlike watching on television ever could. Many of the cities targeted for contraction have invested millions of taxpayer dollars in their teams, at the behest of MLB, to build quality facilities for developing players. These teams have given a lot to their communities, and we should think seriously about the costs of giving up on their players and fans alike. Americans will see through attempts to frame the destruction of beloved local institutions under the guise of reform.

 

I am concerned that MLB’s decision to cut the number of guaranteed Player Development Contracts will erode the sport’s popularity and cultural significance in communities across the country. It is as unfair as it is unwise and sure to lead to litigation. I respectfully request that you consider those implications and work to improve the relationship with minor league teams rather than deny clubs like the Grand Junction Rockies and Quad Cities River Bandits their chance to have affiliated professional baseball.

 

Of course, every business owner has to consider long-term sustainability. But club owners aren’t the ones struggling in this economy; working families in towns like Grand Junction and the Quad Cities are.

 

Baseball is our national pastime because generations of Americans have been able to enjoy it. Without that accessibility, the sport—and the communities who love it—will lose something essential. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Bennet

 

Both sides are ratcheting up the pressure.

The ultimate "nuclear" weapon is Congress getting involved and removing baseball's anti-trust exemption.

But, ask any early MILB player and most will see the logic of concentrating those developing players (Rookie, SS, Low A) in a location with superior facilities, consistent coaching, medical staff, nutrition, workout facilities, virtually no travel, and the same bed to sleep on for a season. 

Maybe I am not looking at this right, but I don’t think MLB hold all the cards here, however is in a stronger bargaining position than MILB for sure. What I see as part of the problem in player development is the drafting of players who need time to develop more slowly and who would have benefited from playing the college game.

Not all HS players are ready for the next step, especially if they routinely did not play or dodged elite caliber competition in high school. Once those guys get into rookie ball, they get exposed pretty quick (Twins #13 pick this year is a shining example).

The proposed changes effect college players more than HS players. Currently, the path for MOST HS players is rookie ball at the mother ship complex for at least the first season and probably the second, also.

College players come into proball physically ready, but most need development. (AA rosters are full of 25+ year old players, so any system which develops them faster is the goal.)

College players have faced better  competition when compared to HS players, have an understanding of the increased workload, better grasp of mental elements of the game, better understanding of their own physiology, have experienced travel, and are used to greater pressures - simply by having more experience.

IMO, the category of players most helped by the advantages of being at the mother ship complex are college aged players. And, those are the guys who are sent to SS and low A out of the gate.

(In other words, for the first few years, HS and college players are on different development tracks; and college players need to be developed faster than the current methods.)

^^^ Yes^^^

I just think MLB will swing and miss far less on young players if they adopt a policy of not drafting out of HS, period. Force the kids to be 21 in order to be drafted. If it’s a league policy, nobody will miss out on a player. They can play college ball or an independent league circuit (maybe MILB becomes that if MLB starts their own minor league system apart from what exists today).  Then get drafted and there will likely be a quicker spin up to make the move to big leagues. Meanwhile, college baseball improves, players improve. Just stop drafting out of HS, stop drafting kids who are related to college and pro coaches and execs as favors...all you are going to do is push the timeline of these guys signing pro contracts with MLB further out...seems logical to me.

The problem with (further) expanding college summer leagues is that most leagues don't really draw enough fans. Alaska - once a premier league - is rapidly fading, a Ripken league game I attended several years ago had son and me as the only fans (and, I believe, that league has shrunk since then); the Myrtle Beach league was more of a pay for play scam than a league. By the end of the season in the Northwoods league when my son played, HS catchers were the bull pen catchers.

I dont think there is the depth of talent available to create additional leagues; as it is some leagues are more like watching a adult league - unless you're a relative, you don't go.

Perhaps some college teams in successful leagues could move their teams to bigger cities and better stadiums vacated by affiliated teams.

It's sort of analogous to the regular college season - a few teams and leagues draw (e.g., LSU, South Carolina, Arizona), others - even for NCAA tournament teams - dont draw (e.g., SDSU, WCC) more than a few hundred.

Most of the MILB teams/cities thought to be on the chopping block dont draw (e.g., Beloit) or have subpar facilities (e.g., Vermont)

Now, if SS or low A is relocated to mother ships, some surviving teams would be relocated to better locations (e.g., Brooklyn, Staten Island). 

I watch this with some degree of sadness, as our family spent every summer for 7 years chasing MiLB games. We have hundred of MILB balls from hundreds of batting practices (yes, we were the crazy family arriving three hours early); and enjoyed many games where we were amongst a dozen fans (Jamestown, Visalia on a hot Sunday afternoon, Savannah) and could have whole seating sections to ourselves and leisurely walk to pick up foul balls.

It was a highlight to watch the kids chase autographs and we still have hundreds of sealed baggies with a program, an autographed ball, and a ticket stub.

 

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Is it possible this could finally prompt the MLB players union to include MiLB players (either before contraction happens, in an effort to prevent it; or afterwards, when fewer players in the minors mean each MiLB roster member is more likely to get at least some time in MLB)?  The interests of the two groups of players aren't perfectly aligned, but they sure seem like they ought to be bargaining together--and most MiLB players certainly don't get treated well as is. 

I think MLB has gotten much better at projecting and identifying talent.  The obvious is first the introduction of handling scouting data with computers, and second came the gathering of analytic data on younger and younger. 

But don't overlook the shifting of cost of recruiting to (us) parents who paid the development cost to deliver better players younger through personal coaches, teams/academies coached by ex-college/milb/mlb.  And also paid for the travel and entry costs to tournaments/showcases for 80 - 100 games a year across regions or the nation.  This grouping got many scouts out of their car from going to watch one kid on a HS team that might be good to watching the top 500 players in the country in the same city for a week.

And let's not leave out the internet gurus, who just occasionally, are really gurus.  And parents and kids alike can breath in all the development, personal training, nutrition information that their lungs can absorb.

These shifts in the landscape are allowing MLB to contract and concentrate it's development system.

About in late 80s scouting got a lot better. In the first 20 years of the draft era for example there were tons of busts among first overall picks and hardly one star player. Then in the early 90s a few first overall picks became superstars. There still is an occasional bust like Mark apple but most first overall picks now at least become an average player if not more if they don't get hurt.

The player development thing is also real. 40 years ago many HS picks were like 150pounds and have never lifted weights, nowadays HS picks start lifting at age 13 and weigh 180-190 and they also have hitting and pitching coaches and might even do like weighted ball training so they throw 90+ in HS. This removes some of the uncertainty and the need to project growth.

Players nowadays are better at 18-19 but also improve less at 20-23 because they are pushed earlier so it is easier to judge for scouts then guessing whether the 155 pound kid from 1970 will add 30 pounds and add 10 mph to his fastball.

In fact many top HS pitchers don't improve their top velo at all in pro ball. They are still getting stronger but due to pitching more their top velo doesn't even increase or sometimes even decrease.

collegebaseballrecruitingguide posted:

^^^ Yes^^^

I just think MLB will swing and miss far less on young players if they adopt a policy of not drafting out of HS, period. Force the kids to be 21 in order to be drafted. If it’s a league policy, nobody will miss out on a player. They can play college ball or an independent league circuit (maybe MILB becomes that if MLB starts their own minor league system apart from what exists today).  Then get drafted and there will likely be a quicker spin up to make the move to big leagues. Meanwhile, college baseball improves, players improve. Just stop drafting out of HS, stop drafting kids who are related to college and pro coaches and execs as favors...all you are going to do is push the timeline of these guys signing pro contracts with MLB further out...seems logical to me.

This will limit the earning potential of the top stars though. Many HS hitters aren't ready for even rookie ball at 18 but occasionally there is a trout or Harper who dominates the majors at age 20.

If those guys make the majors 4 years later you waste a big chunk of their prime (like 35 war in trouts case) and limit their earning because they reach free agency at an older age. Also what happens with international players? Still eligible at 16? 

Dominik85
Also what happens with international players? Still eligible at 16? 

I would think the elimination of 15 draft rounds and 42 teams would hurt the 16 yo international guys who would be worth a risk for few $s when you were filling rosters on 42 more teams....just my thoughts

Goosegg posted:

Here's a Forbes article answering those who bemoan MLBs inevitable decline.

https://twitter.com/BizballMau...538471893098496?s=09

Spoiler alert: there is no financial decline happening.

Mlb could easily afford to pay more but then again you can always save money and owners like to cry poor.

Also now tv is the most important money ressource and not stadium gate so owners can get away with a lot because tv money is constant.

Hopefully the contraction means that minor leaguers indeed get paid more.

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