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voodoochile
01-11-2005, 12:24 PM
Okay, I have a question about how minor league systems are set up. It's probably common knowledge, but I don't know the answer...

What percentage of players at the minor league level are actually people drafted or signed as FA's by the big league club?

I mean, are all A-ball players people the Sox drafted or signed, or are some of them simply players filling roster slots to allow the team to function?

Doesn't seem much value to the big league club in having a guy sitting 25th on the bench at low A-ball.

If not all the players are "prospects" then where do the other guys come from? Does a bench warmer in rookie A-ball actually make enough money to get by?

At what level do you reach before all the players are signed by the big league club and have an actual shot at sometime getting there and not end up as career minor leauers - AAA? AA?

Any info is appreciated. I always wondered about this stuff. It seems odd that the Sox would have 125 players in the minors. However, one final question. If all 125 players are actual Sox property and not just filling a slot, how many of them actually stand a chance at making the bigs in any capacity?

trailboss
01-11-2005, 02:38 PM
I think the number would be close to 150 (six teams @ 25 players each). Every one of them is the property of the White Sox through the draft, trade or FA signings.

In theory everybody has a shot at the Show, but the reality is that approximately 80% won't make it. The higher up you go the better the odds, but not every player in AAA makes it either.

Even when you get into the pros, it's still a long-shot.

Fungo
01-11-2005, 03:03 PM
VC,

A little over 10% of all minor leaguers ever make it to a MLB roster.

All the players on each teams minor league teams roster, AAA down to Rookie ball are the property of of each said team. A player at Great Falls is no less the property of the Sox than another player/prospect at Charlotte.

StillMissOzzie
01-11-2005, 03:29 PM
I have no overall numerical breakdown, but think about this. Back in 2000, the Kane County Cougars (Class A Midwest League affiliate of the Orioles, then Marlins, then A's) hosted the All-Star game. The program from that game had a story about the Class A All-Star game from 10 years earlier, in 1990. IIRC, maybe 10% of those Class A All-Stars from 10 years earlier even made an appearance in the bigs, let alone became a star. Keep in mind, these All-Stars are the cream of the crop from their year - the top 10% or so from each team. The climb from Class A to MLB is a longshot gamble at best - but try convincing the kids playing at that level.

I watch with interest because my nephew is a real high school prospect and could get drafted in June 2005, but realistically, I know he's got a climb ahead of him.

SMO
:gulp:

voodoochile
01-11-2005, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the info. I am aware of the 10% number but admit that I am surprised the Sox actually pay people to benchwarm at A-ball level. It seems a waste of resources.

rdivaldi
01-11-2005, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the info. I am aware of the 10% number but admit that I am surprised the Sox actually pay people to benchwarm at A-ball level. It seems a waste of resources.
They're not paid all that much, and you need to fill a roster at every level. If you didn't you'd run your better prospects into the ground because they wouldn't have any backups to give them days off.

Minor league players don't make all that much either...

voodoochile
01-11-2005, 05:40 PM
They're not paid all that much, and you need to fill a roster at every level. If you didn't you'd run your better prospects into the ground because they wouldn't have any backups to give them days off.

Minor league players don't make all that much either...
And the guys who fill these "non-prospect" positions are all failed draftees?

I assume that a guy who sits 25th on the bench in rookie ball probably gets cut the following year and a different guy who has failed to live up to expectations but still has a chance to improve down the road takes over that slot while the new draftees take over the "prospect" slots.

ondafarm
01-11-2005, 05:49 PM
Minor league players make a flat salary and it's typically pretty thin. In the middle eighties, I know the Dodgers system paid $757/ month to players at all levels (apart from the majors of course.) I would say most of the unmarried players find a way to get by on their salary, but anybody married and bringing the wife (and kids along) definately needs to have gotten a signing bonus and be taking money from it every month. The per diem was actually pretty good, most players ate well enough on the road, the days of minor leaguers eating dog food are long gone thankfully. Although a few teams allow minor league teams to fill a few spots themselves the White Sox, and most others, own every player.

As for chances of making the majors, I would say fewer than 5% of guys who ever played minor league ball ever play in the majors. Most teams feature two or three guys that have a solid shot and I recall teams with four future major leaguers being runaway champions.

rdivaldi
01-11-2005, 05:54 PM
And the guys who fill these "non-prospect" positions are all failed draftees?
Well, a lot of them are. But teams do sign a smallish number of minor league free agents every year. Also a couple of players are shipped in from Central/South American training camps each year. Technically those guys aren't drafted, they're just some young kids that the Sox got into a training facility when they were younger.

I assume that a guy who sits 25th on the bench in rookie ball probably gets cut the following year and a different guy who has failed to live up to expectations but still has a chance to improve down the road takes over that slot while the new draftees take over the "prospect" slots.
Yeah it happens quite often. But, there's always a decent amount of carryover from year to year in Rookie Ball, the younger guys sometimes spend 2 years in Rookie Ball (or even more).

rdivaldi
01-11-2005, 06:06 PM
Most teams feature two or three guys that have a solid shot and I recall teams with four future major leaguers being runaway champions.
Very true. If people remember back to our 2000 AA team, it featured 5 starters who ended up pitching in the big leagues (Biddle, Buerhle, Ginter, Fogg, and Rauch) plus Crede. They rolled to the best record in the Southern League that year, but lost in the playoffs...

ChiSoxRowand
01-11-2005, 06:45 PM
This summer me and a friend were at a minor league game here in Rockford, the Rockford Riverhawks of the Frontier league, which is independent. We were talking to a relief pitcer from the opposing team down in the bullpen and he said he had a job during the offseason.

trailboss
01-11-2005, 08:12 PM
Players are "paid" the same at each level. I think rookie ball is around $950 a month, but only during the season. Nothing for the off-season, or spring training, or Instructional League. A ball is like $1,100 and AA is $1,500/mo. AAA gets a contract that starts around $2,000/mo. Meal money is a joke... $15/day. Food in the clubhouse (especially at the lower levels) is poor at best.

From your salary, you have to pay for your own housing, transportation, food, utilities, furniture, telephone, internet, psycho-therapy, art classes, body-waxes and video-rentals!! Can you believe it?

Unless you were a top 1-2 round draft choice, you work in the off-season or live at home.

Was there at the end of ST last year when guys were getting cut. It was brutal. Life in the minors sucks, but a dream is a hard thing to let go of.

To those who do it any way....:gulp:

Daver
01-11-2005, 08:25 PM
It gets even worse when you are chasing the dream outside of the organized system, my aunt is nearly eighty, but is a baseball fan, she lives with a live-in caretaker in a 6 bedroom house not far from where the Joliet Jackhammers play, she puts up three players in her home during the season to save them the housing costs. If these guys had to pay for a place to live they could not play ball.

SoxxoS
01-11-2005, 10:43 PM
VC,

A little over 10% of all minor leaguers ever make it to a MLB roster.

All the players on each teams minor league teams roster, AAA down to Rookie ball are the property of of each said team. A player at Great Falls is no less the property of the Sox than another player/prospect at Charlotte.
Which I assume includes hyped up high draft picks that need to be brought up (see Borchard, Joe) even though their minor league performance doesn't warrant it. So the true number would be somewhere around 8% or so that actually deserve a call up.

StillMissOzzie
01-12-2005, 02:33 AM
It gets even worse when you are chasing the dream outside of the organized system, my aunt is nearly eighty, but is a baseball fan, she lives with a live-in caretaker in a 6 bedroom house not far from where the Joliet Jackhammers play, she puts up three players in her home during the season to save them the housing costs. If these guys had to pay for a place to live they could not play ball.
Again referring to the Kane County Cougars, (the local Class A affiliate of the A's), I have no idea how much they get paid, but I know that they have this "Adopt-A-Cougar" program where players live with local families for little or no charge.

And to address an earlier posting, yes, the MLB team does pay 25 players to play catch with the 2-3 prospects on the team.

SMO
:gulp:

ondafarm
01-12-2005, 07:36 PM
. . .And to address an earlier posting, yes, the MLB team does pay 25 players to play catch with the 2-3 prospects on the team.
. . .
Apart from saying, "they pay 22-23 players to play catch with the 2-3 real prospects" I couldn't have said it better myself.

My old organization still talks about my record of playing for the same team (roughly AA level) for 3 straight years and catching 22 different pitchers, 8 of whom made the majors (albeit, the Japanese majors) and have a career total of over 200 wins (again, Japanese major league wins.) Then again, very few teams keep track of "Games Caught and Won."