By now, we hope you have heard the buzz – Minor League Baseball will be returning to Osceola County Stadium! This news ushers in a new era of minor league baseball to the stadium, which has not been seen since 2000 when the previous Class A Advanced team, Kissimmee Cobras (also known previously as the Osceola Astros), left.
So as we welcome the new Class A Advanced team of the Milwaukee Brewers to Kissimmee, we decided we should introduce, for those not as versed in Minor League Baseball, to exactly what it is anyway…
You may have heard it called the Minors, or maybe even the Farm System or the Farm Teams, but to sum it up in one sentence – Minor League Baseball allows for player development as they climb the ranks to, hopefully one day, be part of a Major League team. Previously known as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Minor League Baseball was formed on September 5, 1901, during a meeting of Minor League executives at the Leland Hotel in Chicago.
Players are divided amongst six classifications: Rookie, Class A Short Season, Class A, Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A. These classifications are ranked according to a player’s progress and are considered their road to the majors. You typically begin at Rookie and advance through Triple-A and then into the Majors. Though, it is important to note that not all players follow the full succession; for example, a player can be in Double-A and be called to the Majors if there is a need. For more information on the individual classifications, you can read a blog post about the minor league levels here.
Amongst these six classes are 244 teams that are located in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States. These teams are usually independently owned from their Major League affiliate and are associated through a Player Development Contract (PDC). Player Development Contracts are an agreement between Major League and Minor League Baseball Teams and usually span a two to four-year term. Teams may renew their affiliation with the Major League Team or sign a new PCD with another club, but it is historically known that some Minor League Baseball Teams stay with their Major League Baseball Team counterpart for many years past the initial agreement term.
So when the future Minor League Team comes to town, know that some of the talent you see on the field will be making their way to the Majors, and you will be able to say you knew them when!