Monday, October 10, 2016

Astros Farm Report: 10-10

I dusted off the soapbox to talk about minor league pay, but first things first.

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

10-11: 3B Wander Franco (20)
10-12: RHP Jandel Gustave (24)
10-13: LHP Zac Person (24)
10-14: 2B/OF Aaron Mizell (23)
10-14: OF Ronny Rafael (19)
10-15: OF Teoscar Hernandez (24)
10-15: IF Arturo Michelena (22)
10-16: RHP Jheyson Caraballo (21)
10-17: OF Myles Straw (22)

Zac Person - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

10-3: Fresno IF Danny Worth elected free agency

FALL AND WINTER LEAGUES

The Venezuelan winter league (LVBP) started on Sunday with only a couple of Astros players and one minor league manager listed on the rosters. With the current situation in Venezuela (massive food and supply shortages throughout the country), there may very well be fewer U.S. players playing there as have played there in past years.

Aguilas de Zulia
C Oscar Campos
SS Kristian Trompiz

Caribes de Anzoategui
Manager Omar Lopez

The Arizona Fall League will start tomorrow. As a reminder, the Astros on the Glendale Desert Dogs roster are the following:

Hitting Coach Darryl Robinson
RHP Rogelio Armenteros
RHP Jacob Dorris
RHP Francis Martes
RHP David Paulino
C Garrett Stubbs
IF Nick Tanielu
OF Ramon Laureano
OF Jason Martin

The Mexican Pacific Leagues start tomorrow as well, but the rosters haven't been posted yet.

Fall/Winter League Start Dates
Venezuelan Winter League (LVBP) - 10/9
Arizona Fall League (AFL) - 10/11
Mexican Pacific League (LMP) - 10/11
Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) - 10/20
Puerto Rican Winter League (LBPRC) - 10/27
Australian Baseball League (ABL) -11/7 (Exhibitions start 11/7; season starts 11/17)

NEWS AND LINKS

LEAGUE TOP PROSPECTS

Baseball America has been rolling out their League by League Top 20 prospects. Of the leagues that have been posted thus far, the following Astros minor leaguers have made the cut.

RHP Franklin Perez - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Gulf Coast League
#20: RHP Lupe Chavez

Appalachian League
#14: SS Miguelangel Sierra

New York-Penn League
#19: OF Daz Cameron

Midwest League
#4: OF Kyle Tucker
#10: RHP Franklin Perez
#14: RHP Albert Abreu

California League
#20: OF Ramon Laureano

Still to come: Texas League and Pacific Coast League

THE MILBYS

Voting for the annual MiLBy Awards is open through October 5th. Vote early and vote often!!! You can vote for the Astros system, the Hooks, the JetHawks, James Hoyt, Alex Bregman and Joe Musgrove in various categories. Old WTHB friends Brett Phillips and Josh Hader are also in the mix.

MINOR LEAGUE PAY

And let's end this post with a subject that's near and dear to my heart ... minor league pay (or the lack thereof). Ben Badler of Baseball America quantified what anyone involved with minor league baseball, from minor league players to coaches to office staff to broadcasters and pretty much everyone in between, already knew. Baseball players aren't paid enough and the argument that signing bonuses make up the difference is pure horse hockey for a really large chunk of players. So Rob Manfred needs to just shut it. That argument doesn't hold water. I agree that paying an hourly wage would probably be far too difficult and unwieldy to work.

But, with pay reportedly starting at $1,100 a month at the lower levels, a significant increase in monthly pay is in order. Let's say that a player averages a minimum of 10 hours a day, from the time that they are required to report to the ballpark, through strength and conditioning work, other early work, batting practice, bullpens, required team meetings, pre-game activities, the actual game and any post-game activities. And that doesn't even include travel time. Then factor in playing an average of 28 games every month. 28 days of work x 10 hours a day = 280 hours a month (not including travel). At $1,100 a month, that works out to around $3.93 an hour. And a 10-hour day is generally the MINIMUM. Long travel, double-headers, extra innings, community events, and other factors can easily push that day to 12 hours and longer.

$3.93 an hour and the player is still required to supply their own bats, gloves and cleats. On top of all that, they also have to pay clubhouse dues. And they don't get paid anything in the off-season, but are expected to adhere to a given workout regimen and are often given other requirements they must fulfill as well. And, unless something has changed, they aren't paid for fall instructional league or spring training. Yes, some of the lower levels provide housing, but by the time you hit Low A, you are completely on your own. And, yes, the players are provided with a pre-game spread. I've seen those spreads and, generally speaking, the teams spend as little as possible on the food that they put out. I don't blame the minor league franchises. They work on a shoestring. I blame MLB for deciding that a player who is willing to sign for a $1,000 bonus to follow his dream isn't deserving of being paid any better than a factory worker in a third world country. I blame MLB for doing that because they can get away with it. It is reprehensible. It is unconscionable. It is indefensible. It is wrong.

$3.93 an hour. At best.

2 comments:

  1. Unbelievable that these below poverty salaries haven't yet been ruled unlawful. As reported by the MLB, record breaking revenue realized at the minor league level... at the expense of underpaid players. It's a shame!

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  2. I did NOT know this. As a matter of fact, very FEW fans realize this! OMG!! Those poor kids are screwed and no pay in the off season???!! Dang!! Someone needs to get you to write about this for the Chron, and every paper in this country! I'll let the folks on Chip's blog. Thank you for opening our eyes. Becky

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