Nothing really breaking here in terms of the ongoing minor league reorganization by Major League Baseball. However, all 120 teams invited to remain in the Low-A through Triple-A structure (i.e., teams above rookie ball not all owned by major league teams) have accepted their fates and dived in to MiLB 2021.
Minor League Baseball is now broken down into four leagues of 30 teams each.
And you’ll notice something interesting about the layout:
There’s no more Sally League.
Or Pacific Coast League, or International League.
You may feel as if trading out the PCL for “Triple-A West” is no big deal, but wait until it becomes “Amazon Alexa presents Minor League Baseball’s Triple-A West” — and don’t come crying to me when it does.
The White Sox were one of the organizations hardly touched by all of the reorganization, beyond having completely lost one affiliate/league, the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League. Each White Sox affiliate retained levels and will face generally the same intraleague competition in generally the same divisional alignment as before.
The Charlotte Knights are no longer in the International League and now reside in the super-swole, 20-team Triple-A East.
The Birmingham Barons has lost the Southern League and now play in Double-A South, with eight teams the smallest of the Double-A divisions.
The Winston-Salem Dash are in the High-A East Division. The 12 teams of the East match that of the Central. Meanwhile, the West Division has just six teams.
And finally, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have lost the Sally, and will play in the Low-A East Division (why not Southeast? Well, the “Southeast” division is essentially “Florida”). With 12 of the 30 Low-A teams in the East, Kanny plays in the league’s biggest division.
The Triple-A season is in lockstep with the majors with regard to Spring Training, while Double-A, High-A and Low-A will start their springs once the top players break camp, around April 1.