Jump to content

IdahoBert

2019-2020 OFFSEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, IdahoBert said:

There’s already a vast network of self-supported baseball training services a player’s parents have to spend huge money on. It looks like this makes amateur baseball still more an expression of socioeconomic privilege than it already is. Look for US-based baseball to become even whiter and more middle class and above than it already is.

Baseball is only "whiter" if you count Latino players as "white".   RE:the economic aspect  Considering that many of those players come from dire circumstances I'm not sure of that either.   If economics were really the driving issue would whites be over represented?  They're not.

I will grant there are fewer Black MLB players but I've attributed that to the perception/reality(?) of better opportunities to make money early in football/basketball.  No matter the $$ issues the reality is there that many, many more college scholarships exist for football and basketball.

MLB demographics are visualized well here:

Chart of the Week: The Rise of Latinos in Major League Baseball

and here:

Baseball Demographics, 1947-2016

this chart seems to show that the percentage of white players has been pretty static for 20 years or so - Black players seem to be being displaced by Latino players.

BBDems.thumb.jpg.8b23e8a09d5370446bcb911ca0a521ec.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is inevitable, but on the other hand, the article notes that a lot of the minor league expansion has been relatively recent, so if teams start cutting back it sounds like there a lot of room to go before MiLB is reduced to a historically  low level. The topic of whether it is better for players to be more challenged at younger ages has come up before and I think the science is on that side of the argument. OTOH, since we know that you also can't just throw a player up against game competition they can't handle at all, the obvious conclusion is more off the field development work that can be calibrated  to the skill and development rate of the individual player. I also think the article is spot on about pitching vs hitting. There is a fundamental difference. A pitcher does not need a hitter in the box to do maybe 90% of the work on his pitch development. A hitter does have to actually face pitches - though it does not necessarily have to be in games or even live pitchers, and in fact the whole point of what is in the works in terms of MiLB contraction is that the Astros et al are  probably correct that game play is a very inefficient way to develop hitters. Another approach I could see coming out of this would be cutting the MiLB schedule down to only a couple of games a week to increase the ratio of training to game time. Of course the trick to that would be figuring out how to manage pitchers' work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they would ever cut minor league games down to anything like two a week because part of the development of minor leaguers is training them for the rigors of playing live games every day for months on end. I think we will still see 140 game seasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

Baseball is only "whiter" if you count Latino players as "white".   RE:the economic aspect  Considering that many of those players come from dire circumstances I'm not sure of that either.   If economics were really the driving issue would whites be over represented?  They're not.

I will grant there are fewer Black MLB players but I've attributed that to the perception/reality(?) of better opportunities to make money early in football/basketball.  No matter the $$ issues the reality is there that many, many more college scholarships exist for football and basketball.

MLB demographics are visualized well here:

Chart of the Week: The Rise of Latinos in Major League Baseball

and here:

Baseball Demographics, 1947-2016

this chart seems to show that the percentage of white players has been pretty static for 20 years or so - Black players seem to be being displaced by Latino players.

BBDems.thumb.jpg.8b23e8a09d5370446bcb911ca0a521ec.jpg

 

Most of these articles cite cost to play baseball vs other sports as a key factor. I don't think any of them cite potential salary as a factor.

https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2013/04/19/heres-why-fewer-black-kids-are-playing-baseball/comment-page-2/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/leighsteinberg/2018/04/17/why-have-african-american-players-disappeared-in-mlb/#5d6c97bf50df

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/op-ed/articles/2017-07-10/3-reasons-for-the-declining-percentage-of-black-baseball-players-in-the-mlb

http://thedemotape.com/2017/04/13/why-arent-black-kids-playing-baseball/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I don't think they would ever cut minor league games down to anything like two a week because part of the development of minor leaguers is training them for the rigors of playing live games every day for months on end. I think we will still see 140 game seasons.

I think that comes down to a mental vs physical choice. You can easily achieve the physical rigor without playing games, but I would not argue that the mental rigor is very different question, and given the emphasis on quantitative data today, it may well start getting shorter shrift than it used to. It's a human trait to over focus on what can be measured even when we may know at another level of understanding that we may be missing some very important things in our measurements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CMRivdog said:

It seems clubs like the Astros are already making the move. 
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/do-we-even-need-minor-league-baseball/

I’m wondering if this opens the door for possibly more independent leagues. I’m on the fence, really enjoy watching minor league games when I get a chance, the games are entertaining and don’t cost a small fortune.  

That’s a really good article. Frankly I thought the idea of 17 to 18% of players drafted making it to the major leagues was way too huge but when so few had any appreciable WAR that figure was placed in its proper perspective. Reading that article — Particularly the following — made me lament for the future of our Tigers. The Astros basically got rid of almost the entire player development staff and coaches. I don’t see that ever happening in this organization 
 

Quote

 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing, in just the ordinary day to day of my life I’ve run into a number of former minor-league baseball players that never went anywhere.

Our milkman when I was a kid had worked his way through the minors and had one season as a relief pitcher with the Cubs which was his last season in professional ball. Our mailman’s son was a AA catcher in the Tigers organization. The husband of one of my wife’s friends was a AA pitcher. A guy who went to my high school was a pitcher who blew out his arm in his first season of Rookie ball.  

The washout rate is huge. And most of the guys who make it don’t make much of a splash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a subscription to The Athletic there is an article there by Evan Drellich which also gets into the money issue. With the whole issue lately about how little the minor leaguers are payed combined with inadequate facilities in a number of parks and travel conditions. 
 

Bottom line is that many MLB owners feel that they are subsidizing some minor league facilities with player salaries, and helping with upgrades. MLB feels that in many instances they are just filling rosters to provide bodies for games.

MLB owners have also expressed concern about “musical chairs” with affiliates. When the player development agreement expires between clubs and affiliates the clubs sometimes feel they are being held hostage by affiliate demands.

It basically comes down to who pays, neither side wants to budge much on the issues  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a former coworker whose son was drafted by the Braves a couple of years ago. It was in one of the later rounds. He spent one season in Danville, Va, started the second season and was moved to A Ball in Florida. I think he appeared on one game before he was released. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think that comes down to a mental vs physical choice. You can easily achieve the physical rigor without playing games, but I would not argue that the mental rigor is very different question, and given the emphasis on quantitative data today, it may well start getting shorter shrift than it used to. It's a human trait to over focus on what can be measured even when we may know at another level of understanding that we may be missing some very important things in our measurements.

Sure, mental and emotional rigor are part of it. It's the traveling, being away from loved ones, getting used to strange environments, taking care of yourself and your business while in the game and travel routine, etc. I don't think that can be learned effectively if you're on the road only one day a week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found this from Baseball America on the proposed realignment 

Quote

At the root of the disagreement is a preliminary proposal MLB has offered to reduce its number of Player Development Contracts (the affiliation agreement by which MLB teams provide players and staff to MiLB teams) from 160 to 120. That reduction would completely eliminate the four, non-complex Rookie-level and short-season classifications from the minor leagues.

The proposal also completely reorganizes the full-season minor leagues. While there would still be Triple-A, Double-A, high Class A and low Class A, those four levels would be completely reworked to make the leagues much more geographically compact. In Triple-A, the Pacific Coast League would shift from 16 teams to 10. The International League would grow to 20 teams. The 14-team low Class A South Atlantic League would be turned into a six-team league with a new Mid-Atlantic league springing up.

The short-season Northwest League would move to full-season ball.

Under MLB’s proposal, some teams would be asked to move from Class A to Triple-A. Others would be asked to move from Triple-A to Class A, and there would be other less dramatic moves as well.

The proposal lays out valuations for the different levels. Triple-A is valued at $20 million. Double-A is valued at $15 million. High Class A is valued at $10 million. Low Class A is valued at $8 million, and short-season/Rookie-level teams are valued at $6 million. A team moving up from low Class A to Triple-A would be asked to pay $12 million to move up. A team asked to move from Triple-A to high Class A would receive $10 million in compensation for the move down to a lower level.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/mlb-floats-proposal-that-would-eliminate-42-minor-league-teams/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in short season class a ball that I’ve been watching in Idaho for 25 years the ability level does not seem that acute. Just fielding the ball and throwing it on the button to first base is not something you can depend upon. Tracking fly balls in the outfield can be a real tossup. 

Gleyber Torres was one of the few players I can remember looking as good as a real major leaguer. He just sparkled in the infield, but even he didn’t show much power as a 17-year-old in the NWL. But hey, he was 17 years old and almost everybody else was 3 to 5 years older. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Most of these articles cite cost to play baseball vs other sports as a key factor. I don't think any of them cite potential salary as a factor.

Those articles may not cite it but the reality is that the average age to make MLB is 24-25 years old.  

By that age you can be a 5-6 year veteran of professional basketball (more if you start overseas) and a 4-5 year veteran of the NFL.  This after living a pretty luxurious expenses paid life (compared to MiLB) if you're a D1 scholarship player.  If you've made one of the NBA/NFL and stuck then you're on your 2nd and more lucrative contract when as a MLB player you're just making your debut and beginning to work through your Arb years...and that's if the team isn't screwing with your service time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea that they would pay minor-league baseball players more. Right now it’s sort of a slave ship.

And truth be told, there are a lot of unqualified players filling out these rosters just so you can field a team at various levels. But I feel bad for all the locations that would lose teams. The end of the Pioneer and Appalachian leagues is painful to contemplate. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

Those articles may not cite it but the reality is that the average age to make MLB is 24-25 years old.  

By that age you can be a 5-6 year veteran of professional basketball (more if you start overseas) and a 4-5 year veteran of the NFL.  This after living a pretty luxurious expenses paid life (compared to MiLB) if you're a D1 scholarship player.  If you've made one of the NBA/NFL and stuck then you're on your 2nd and more lucrative contract when as a MLB player you're just making your debut and beginning to work through your Arb years...and that's if the team isn't screwing with your service time.

 

True though this may be, it's really unlikely that hundreds of thousands of black kids are choosing basketball and football over baseball for primarily this reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, IdahoBert said:

I like the idea that they would pay minor-league baseball players more. Right now it’s sort of a slave ship.

And truth be told, there are a lot of unqualified players filling out these rosters just so you can field a team at various levels. But I feel bad for all the locations that would lose teams. The end of the Pioneer and Appalachian leagues is painful to contemplate. 

 

I've read that one possibility is that some of these teams switch over to collegiate wood bat league play, a la Cape Cod league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, IdahoBert said:

I like the idea that they would pay minor-league baseball players more. Right now it’s sort of a slave ship.

And truth be told, there are a lot of unqualified players filling out these rosters just so you can field a team at various levels. But I feel bad for all the locations that would lose teams. The end of the Pioneer and Appalachian leagues is painful to contemplate. 

 

A lot of history in those leagues. They would probably be the area that would wind up with the Dream Leagues. Unaffiliated undrafted  players with no affiliation. Sort of a MLB subsidized Independent league

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LooseGoose said:

Those articles may not cite it but the reality is that the average age to make MLB is 24-25 years old.  

By that age you can be a 5-6 year veteran of professional basketball (more if you start overseas) and a 4-5 year veteran of the NFL.  This after living a pretty luxurious expenses paid life (compared to MiLB) if you're a D1 scholarship player.  If you've made one of the NBA/NFL and stuck then you're on your 2nd and more lucrative contract when as a MLB player you're just making your debut and beginning to work through your Arb years...and that's if the team isn't screwing with your service time.

 

Baseball is a tougher game of finesse, and learning all the little stuff takes time, and it takes even more time as you re-adjust to higher levels of play. Both football and basketball do not require the acute sorts of fine motor skills and mentality required for baseball. Baseball is always going to be a harder game to get good at. Ask Michael Jordan.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, chasfh said:

True though this may be, it's really unlikely that hundreds of thousands of black kids are choosing basketball and football over baseball for primarily this reason.

And of course no one ever said that.  Hundreds OR thousands?  Yep....and when it comes to MLB it only takes a fraction of that to swing the percentage from 12-18% to 7%.   Hundreds of thousands is absurd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I've read that one possibility is that some of these teams switch over to collegiate wood bat league play, a la Cape Cod league.

I came across a similar league in the SE last year. The Costal Plain League,  Buck Farmer played there in 2010, as did Andy Dirks in 2005 and Don Kelly in 2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, IdahoBert said:

Baseball is a tougher game of finesse, and learning all the little stuff takes time, and it takes even more time as you re-adjust to higher levels of play. Both football and basketball do not require the acute sorts of fine motor skills and mentality required for baseball. Baseball is always going to be a harder game to get good at. Ask Michael Jordan.

No argument there.   If you're an elite athlete in your teens and contemplate a future of riding buses while honing your skills vs having $$ in the bank and a pension earned when you're 25 - which do you choose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, CMRivdog said:

I came across a similar league in the SE last year. The Costal Plain League,  Buck Farmer played there in 2010

Justin Verlander pitched for the Wilson Tobs in this league.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 1776 said:

Justin Verlander pitched for the Wilson Tobs in this league.

We’re looking at moving to Williamsburg, Va and I was searching teams other than Norfolk (don’t really want to fight the tunnel) and Richmond. I’m old enough to remember the Peninsula Pilots in the old Carolina League and came across this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, CMRivdog said:

We’re looking at moving to Williamsburg, Va and I was searching teams other than Norfolk (don’t really want to fight the tunnel) and Richmond. I’m old enough to remember the Peninsula Pilots in the old Carolina League and came across this

Virginia has quite a few teams now. The Potomac Nationals are relocating to Fredericksburg for the 2020 season. They will be the Fredericksburg Nationals and remain a member of the Carolina League.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading a ball in the outfield and fielding it in a precise manner and immediately sizing up where you have to throw the ball on a skip to home plate over 400 feet within inches of the desired target is a preposterously absurd thing to expect anyone to do.

Determining if a ball is worth swinging at in a fraction of a second by reading a pitcher’s motion, the spin of the ball, and the exact game context in which this pitch is taking place and one’s previous experience with the hurler is equally preposterous. I can barely wrap my head around what the pitcher needs to do

But this is what is expected. When you put it into words it seems insane for a game like this to even be able to be played well at all. And the fact is that very few are able to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...