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whitecapsbaseball.com | The Official Site of the West Michigan Whitecaps
Every Season Has a Story
Introduction

Here is the Tiger's Farm system:

 

Class AAA

Class AA

Class A

Class A

Short Season Class A

Rookie-Developmental 

Rookie-Developmental 

 

 

Toledo Mudhens

Erie Seawolves

Lakeland Flying Tigers

West Michigan Whitecaps

Connecticut Tigers

GCL Tigers

DSL Tigers

 

 

International League

Eastern League

Florida State League

Midwest League

New York/Penn League

Gulf Coast League

Dominican Summer League

The developmental rookie leagues are similar to training camps in that they do not travel long distances or play in front of fans. These teams are owned by their major league affiliate, as are most teams in the Class A Florida State League (teams play in stadiums that double as Spring Training sites for the major leagues). Most other teams are owned independently of their major league affiliates, either by the city or county or by local businesspersons.

The Mexican League, although considered part of the Minor Leagues, is not directly affiliated with Major League teams. Equivalent to a Class AAA league, the Mexican League allows no more than five "imports" per team in the 16-team league.

Minor Leagues

Class AAA

 

 

 

Class AA

 

 

Class A

 

 

 

 

Class A-Short Season

 

Rookie-Advanced

 

Rookie-Developmental

International League

Pacific Coast League

Eastern League

 

Eastern League

Southern League

Texas League

 

California League

Carolina League

Florida State League

Midwest League

South Atlantic League

 

New York/Penn League

Northwest League

 

Appalachian League

Pioneer League

 

Arizona League

Gulf Coast League

Dominican Summer League 

Venezuelan Summer League 

 

   

There are no set rules on the advancement of players or the length of time a player stays with a team, but it generally takes 4-6 years to reach the major leagues. Most players are scouted in high school and college by the Major League teams' scouting departments, then chosen in the Amateur Draft in June. Others, such as foreign players and those passed over in the draft, are signed as free agents.

Leagues have roster limits of between 23 and 30 players per team (The Midwest League allows 25 active players). Approximately 6,400 players are active in the Minor Leagues annually. Of the 750 Major League players, 99% have played in the Minors. All Major League umpires began their careers in the Minor Leagues.

Attendance in recent years for the 15 leagues that charge admission (not including developmental leagues) has averaged just under 39 million per year.

There are many professional leagues of independent (or unaffiliated) baseball, such as the Northern League or Texas-Louisiana League, but only leagues that are members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues can call themselves Minor League teams and can have relationships with Major League teams.