Posted on 06. Mar, 2009 by in General Baseball.



What a glorious day, pitchers and catchers report.  I know you are wondering what I am talking about, since major league pitchers and catchers reported over three weeks ago and some teams are already 10 games into their spring schedules.  But for players trying to make minor league squads, the fun is just beginning.
Talking to baseball fans that I know, it has become quite obvious that most people do not understand how the minor leagues work.  I am going to try to paint a good picture for you over the next couple of weeks so that fans can educate themselves more about the minor leagues. It is no secret that minor league baseball has taken off in the recent past and that attendance has been at an all time high.

Like most major league clubs, the Cincinnati Reds have six minor league franchises with players that feed into the major league club.  The six minor league clubs are all in different leagues and different levels, allowing players of all skills to develop and move up the ladder towards the big leagues.  The Reds minor league clubs from lowest to highest are, the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Reds, Billings Mustangs, Dayton Dragons, Sarasota Reds, Carolina Mudcats and the Louisville Bats.  It is not uncommon for players to be shuttled around between levels during any given season.

Minor League Spring Training takes place at the same complex as the Major Leaguers in Sarasota, Florida.  Although the minor leaguers never get to play in Ed Smith Stadium during the spring, they all share the same backfields, batting cages, and weight room. Even their clubhouse is in the same building, separated by only a small laundry room/equipment room.

Having both the major league camp and minor league camp in the same complex, is a huge advantage for the Reds.  It makes moving players and staff members around a lot easier, and gives the younger guys a chance to watch the older veterans work.  For example, the Baltimore Orioles major and minor league spring training camp are separated by almost four hours, a rarity in baseball.  Other teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates or New York Yankees have their complexes about a mile apart from either other.
After checking into camp, and going through routine medical exams, the minor league pitchers and catchers will have about five or six days of workouts, before being joined by the minor league position players.  A spot in minor league camp does not guarantee you a roster spot in the Reds organization, as some players will get cut.  In addition, about 40 players or so from the Reds big league camp will get optioned or sent down to minor league camp within the next few weeks.
Once all the Reds minor league players have reported to camp, there are a few days of full squad workouts before competition against other teams begin.  I will explain this process in depth at a later time.
When minor league camp breaks during the first week of April, players will find out what level and affiliate they have been assigned to.  A number of players will be left behind in what is called “Extended Spring Training,” before possibly going on to short season rookie ball, starting in mid to late June following the first year player draft.
There is much more to tell about Spring Training, which will be discussed in the near future.  Feel free to shoot me any questions that you may have at or add a comment to this blog post.

4 Responses to “Not quite Bull Durham…but close!”

  1. bg says:

    i know were moving to az next year… any idea if the major and minor league guys will continue to share a complex?

  2. Corey says:

    Yes, the minor and major leaguers will still share a complex out in Arizona, and will be separated by a large training room. I have heard mix reviews about the Goodyear area, but people rave about the complex designs.


  3. RANDY says:


  4. Corey says:

    thank you randy…glad you enjoy…

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