The Re-tooling of the Minor Leagues

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I don’t know about you guys, but I feel there’s something really satisfying about a pitcher you have in your minor league system coming up and tossing a gem. Whether it be a speculative add after reading a Fangraphs article on upcoming promoted prospects or maybe just a guy you’ve followed from your favorite teams, the minor leagues are what makes our League much more interesting, and in my opinion separates itself from other fantasy baseball leagues (cue the T “THERE ARE NO OTHER LEAGUES”). In this instance, I agree.

Our system is easy (Note: Not always easy). A minor league bat could be a player at any position who accrues less than 130 (up from 100) at bats in his career. This falls in line now with the MLB’s designation for a rookie positional player in the voting for Rookie of the Year. Similarly,. the pitcher (reliever or starter) which accrues less than 50 IP  will be considered a minor league arm. It’s a simple and easily follow-able system which has I think enhanced the leagues interest and complexity.

Now, I wouldn’t for a second say that what we have is a perfect system. We all have found ways to use the minors for a competitive advantage, with a minors eligible starter eligible holds guy reliever being the Holy motherfucking Grail of players. Its all sorts of weird, but its great. There are, however, some ways to make this whole Minors system even better, which I’ll illustrate in some long-winded explanations below:

The Proposal:

I propose that we evolve yet again in our quest to perfect the minors system by implementing a LOW minors in addition to what we have now (HIGH minors). The Low minors designation would create a spot for prospects who have ZERO IP/AB in the Major Leagues. We’ve created our Dynasty League, and I feel that this is essential to continuing the evolution of our League in general. Now, there are many ways this can be accomplished, which I’ll do my best to explain in some quick detail. PLEASE NOTE: This is not a completed, agreed upon, final decision of any kind. There will be a change in the Minor League system at some point in the near future, but there are no certainties yet as to just what we plan on doing.

Current Structure:

High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP

This is what we have currently. It speaks for itself. Here are some ideas for expanding the system:

Proposal 1: Doubling the System

High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances

This structure doubles the amount of minor leaguer’s we have in our system, which I feel is probably excessive for what most of the league is into. I’m just trying to give a little more depth into what we could have, and actually I feel that there is more than enough minor league talent in the free agent list to accommodate this structure. The issue here would be interest, which I wholeheartedly understand.

Proposal 2: Bare Bones

High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances

This one is basically a combination of the two systems, which doesn’t add ANY additional places for prospects, but implements the Low Minors spots in place of a few usable High Minors eligible players. This would be a pretty good system for some of the people who don’t make a crazy amount of moves, yet want to get the whole “I cultivate prospects” experience. To me, it doesn’t solve my whole “we need more spots for good prospects” issue, but there’s some merit to the idea of limiting the usable prospects.

Proposal 3: Happy Mediums?

LOW MINORS WEIGHTED
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances

or

HIGH MINORS WEIGHTED
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
High Minors 130 AB / 50 IP
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances
Low Minors NO Appearances

One of these systems might be our very best happy medium, as it combines the Low and High minor leagues, while only adding 2 additional roster spots to the league. Now, its up to the group as to how they’d like to work this whole thing, but a combination of the two levels would look something like this.

There are some potential issues that could arise from this new system idea. I’m not going to pretend for a second that this won’t confuse and annoy some of the already confused and annoyed with our current structure. It’s very hard to police this minors thing, and until ESPN decides to put a minor league designation in their league database (Don’t gimme that bullshit that its never done, ESPN, because Yahoo and CBS both have it!), we have to do some policing on our own. Once we decide on a structure that is right for the league, we could determine a few things:

  • Why do we need this?
  • How we add the players?
  • Who picks first?
  • How will it all be tracked?
  • How many times will Cliff break the rules?
  • What are the penalties?
  • How many will be kept?
  • How many questions/complaints will Brian have?

So basically think about what you’d be most into here. As Minor League Coordinator and Media director, I’m going to strongly push to make this additional prospect thing happen by the ALL STAR BREAK 2016. You’ll all thank me for it in a few years, when SUPER-PROSPECT FUCKFACE GONZALEZ throws a 3 hit shutout off your High Minors spot in the Championship Week to lock up a title for you. That probably won’t happen, but you can dream!

-Lobman

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The Re-tooling of the Minor Leagues

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