MLB vs MiLB – What’s the Difference?
Whether you are a baseball fan, there are certain things that we have to make clear. Both fans in the US and around the world need to be acquitted with the basic organization of the most popular league in the world.
People often thin, especially the ones outside the US, which the organization of MLB is difficult and hard to understand. Actually it is really easy and both the MLB and the MiLB are their own separate entities… in a way.
To start with the basics.
MLB stands for Major League Baseball and is by many the most popular and best baseball league in the world. It is the professional league of North America currently comprising of 30 teams. 29 of the teams are situated in the US with only a single team, the Toronto Blue Jays, coming from Canada.
The 30 teams are then divided into two leagues of 15 teams, the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). Each league is then further divided into divisions. Both leagues have three divisions, East, Central and West, with five teams in every division.
Each team plays a season of 162 games in the regular season after which they continue to the playoffs. In the playoffs, the winners of the two leagues will face each other in the finals called the World Series in a best out of 7 format.
MiLB stands for Minor League Baseball. It is actually a hierarchy of professional baseball teams affiliated with Major League Baseball. All the teams and players in the Minors are considered professional.
Every team in the Majors has at least once, but usually more affiliate teams in the Minors. These teams are usually referred to as farm teams or farm leagues. They are used to develop new players or keep them in shape after an injury. So for enhance, the New York Yankees have an AAA team in the minors called the Empire State Yankees. But they are also connected with certain teams in Florida and even the Dominican Republic.
Every player that is drafted in the MLB will eventually start from the Minors. There are not a lot of players who directly start in MLB. They usually get drafted and are then sent to the affiliate minor team. After they prove their worth they will get a call up for the main team.
Players receive a regular salary and are what makes them pros. A team may also decide to send a player back to the minors if they are not playing well or for some other reasons. Certain players jump back and forth the Minors and Majors during their entire career. Some don’t even make it to the Majors and spend their whole professional career in the Minors.
There are levels to Minor League Baseball. Not all teams are as strong as the other so they are divided from the highest to the lowest level. The strongest ones are the AAA (or triple A) teams, followed by AA (double A) ones. Further down the line, you have Class A advanced (or High A), Class A (or Low A), Class A short season (or simply short season), and finally Rookie ball teams.
All in all, there is a great difference in levels and organizations between the MLB and the MiLB. However, the popularity of both leagues is really high. People who are true baseball fans will not only follow the Major league as they will be interested in watching the Minors as well. They are particularly fond of following their local teams and it is all in good fun and support of the sport.