The schedules have been released for the 2023 Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League. Here are some quick notes on the schedules.
Once again the Pittsburgh Pirates will have two DSL teams and one team in the FCL. The FCL is likely to remain one team, as roster limits in the U.S. (which are shrinking from 180 to 165 soon) would limit their ability to run an extra team.
The schedules begin on June 5th for both leagues, and they run through August 22nd.
The entire DSL schedule has Wednesdays and Sundays off. The entire FCL schedule has Sundays off, while the Pirates have every Wednesday off like a majority of the FCL teams.
The FCL Pirates play 55 games. The DSL Pirates Black & Gold both play 56 games. The two DSL clubs play six of those games against each other.
The ending time for the FCL in particular is interesting because the MLB draft will be held on July 9th through 11th. That means the schedule will be half over before anyone even has a chance to sign.
The Pirates send all of their draft picks to Pirate City first, where they get back into game shape, so we are going to see very little participation from draft picks in that league.
That has been a common theme over the last two years as well with the draft being held later, but August 22nd is also a little earlier (by a few days at least) for the league to wrap up. There will be picks who move on to Bradenton, where the schedule runs into mid-September.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Is Chandler asking to be a posit
What is the rationale for the shrinking rosters? This would seem to put extra pressure on young players who may need more time to develop.
Save money I guess. Let guys go play for less in independent leagues. It coincided with the huge (%-wise) raise given to minor league players
Crews is going straight to the majors, so he’ll get his at bats in
Back in 1978, a guy jumped from a Power 5-type college program straight to the majors and won the RoY that season
It is interesting that his walk rate plummeted and his K-rate doubled in the transition
24 walks and 42 k’s for the season and you are citing this as an issue? Bob Horner never struck out more than 74 times in a season. I would say Horner made a successful transition from college ball to the Pros. He is that rare player who did not need the minor leagues.
Did you see that person responding to me about that? I said the Pirates send everyone to Pirate City and he was like Crews is special, could probably start in AA. I just said, well he will start at Pirate City regardless. Then he came back with “if they take him”, like that wasn’t already assumed in his own question. People don’t want to hear facts contradicting what they imagined but had no clue about.
Funny how there is always a “Yeah, but…” even when you’re not trying to be controversial.
Ah, the olden days, when the draft happened early enough and there were enough short season affiliates that you could accommodate and sort international free agents, high draft picks, college & juco draftees at age/experience-appropriate levels and actually give them a good 30-40+ games to acclimate.
Now the draft happens too late to get picks much time at all in the short season leagues, so everyone gets thrown into A-ball, mostly the pitchers don’t even throw because it’s been months since their last competitive pitch and by the time they get back in shape the season ends.
Honestly I’m all for a shorter draft and not having 7 levels of affiliates, but there really should still be a level in between the Complex and A, probably starting in July and running through September. Shore up the quality of A ball, and acknowledge that there are substantial differences among the 18 year-old playing stateside for the first time, the first round high schooler and the mid-round college senior from a major conference.
Sorry, I’m just a dude shaking his fist at clouds.
I think you’re correct about it, but with the roster limits getting lowered, there’s zero chance for another level.
I have noticed that the quality play in Low-A over the last two years is a huge drop from before they cut the levels away. I think it’s because teams are keeping raw tools over quality fillers. In the past there were guys who could hold their own in the lower levels, but they had no big league potential because they were finished products. Those guys made the lower level games better quality, which does help pitchers, so it serves some purpose to have them.
Now Low-A looks like a high school game at times, and no quality major college player should be there like Thomas Harrington. It’s like he’s pitching a mid-week game against a college you just found out existed and you question whether they have a baseball program, or just threw together a team for the game.
The upside is that the FCL games are better quality than before because guys aren’t moving up to teams like Bristol and Morgantown.
There really needs to be a middle ground though because Low-A is rough now. I watched that level since I was a kid with Lakewood/Jersey Shore putting in a team right down the street from me, so I went often from the start. The amount of bad plays is skyrocketing at the level. Everyone looks raw.