Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.
Minor League Rosters
Minor league rosters are structured similarly to those of their major league counterparts, however, there are some differences between them. In addition to the unique rules at each level, service time is accrued much more quickly in the minors. If a player spends 30 days on a MLB 40-man roster (even if he doesn’t make the 25-man active roster), minor league active roster, or a disabled list at either level, he accrues a year of minor league service time. However, if a player spends an entire year on the DL (at any level), then he does not accrue service time for that year.
Class AAA (Triple A)
Triple A includes the International League and Pacific Coast League. The active roster size is 25 and the reserve roster size is 38.
Class AA (Double A)
Double A includes the Eastern League, Southern League, and Texas League. The active roster size is 25 and the reserve roster size is 37.
Class A Advanced (High-A)
High-A includes the California League, the Carolina League, and the Florida State League. The active roster size for Class A Advanced and Class A is 25 while the reserve roster size is 35. High-A rosters may have no more than two players and one player-coach with six or more years of minor league service time.
Class A (Low-A)
Low-A includes the Midwest League and the South Atlantic League (aka SALLY). Class A rosters can have no more than two players with five or more years of minor league service time on the roster.
Short-Season Class A
Short-season Class A includes the New York-Penn League and the Northwest League. The active roster size for Short-Season Class A and all Rookie Leagues is 35. Rosters may have no more than three players with four years of minor league service time.
The domestic rookie level includes the Appalachian League, the Pioneer League, the Arizona League, and the Gulf Coast League. No player can have more than three years of minor league service time.
This level currently includes only the Dominican Summer League. No player may have more than four years of service time. Any player eligible for the Rule 4 draft that is born in the United States or Canada is not eligible to play in the DSL. Players in the DSL do not accrue minor league service time while playing in these leagues.
Brandon Magee contributed to this entry.
Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.
Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.