Legends On Deck

MiLB Realignment: Single-A Edition

Just as changes have impacted Triple-A and Double-A baseball, the Single-A leagues have seen significant restructuring as well.  In some ways, the changes are even more drastic.  The High-A Central is primarily the former Midwest League (Low-A).  The High-A East is a mix of franchises coming from the Carolina, South Atlantic, Midwest and New York-Penn League (Short Season).  And the High-A West consists of teams from the former Northwest League.

On the Low-A level, the Low-A East consists of teams from the Carolina and South Atlantic Leagues.  The Low-A Southeast includes the ten remaining teams from the Florida State League.  The Florida State League has been covered extensively here at Legends on Deck.  When I wrote, A New Looks at the Florida State League back in December 2020, it was not yet known that the league itself would be renamed.   Also, the Low-A West primarily consists of teams from the California League, with one team coming from the Pacific Coast League (Fresno Grizzlies).

Here’s how they changes look:

High-A Central 

East

Dayton Dragons (Reds)
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers)
Lake County Captains (Indians)
Lansing Lugnuts (A’s)
West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers)

West

Beloit Snappers (Marlins)
Cedar Rapids Kernels (Twins)
Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals)
Quad Cities River Bandits (Royals)
South Bend Cubs (Cubs)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers)

High-A East 

North

Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles)
Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets)
Hudson Valley Renegades (Yankees)
Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies)
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nats)

South

Asheville Tourists (Astros)
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays)
Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pirates)
Greenville Drive (Red Sox)
Hickory Crawdads (Rangers)
Rome Braves (Braves)
Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox)

High-A West 

Eugene Emeralds (Giants)
Everett AquaSox (Mariners)
Hillsboro Hops (D-backs)
Spokane Indians (Rockies)
Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels)
Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays)

Low A East

Central

Carolina Mudcats (Brewers)
Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers)
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Astros)
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox)

North

Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles)
Fredericksburg Nationals (Nationals)
Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians)
Salem Red Sox (Red Sox)

South

Augusta GreenJackets (Braves)
Charleston RiverDogs (Rays)
Columbia Fireflies (Royals)
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs)

Low-A Southeast

East

Daytona Tortugas (Reds)
Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins)
Palm Beach Cardinals (Cardinals)
St. Lucie Mets (Mets)

West

Bradenton Marauders (Pirates)
Clearwater Threshers (Phillies)
Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays)
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Twins)
Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers)
Tampa Tarpons (Yankees)

Low-A West

North

Fresno Grizzlies (Rockies)
Modesto Nuts (Mariners)
San Jose Giants (Giants)
Stockton Ports (A’s)

South

Inland Empire 66ers (Angels)
Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers)
Visalia Rawhide (D-backs)

There were forty three teams eliminated during MiLB restructuring.  These franchises largely came from Short Season-A and Rookie Leagues, but some from High-A and Low-A as well.  Many of these teams that were cut went on to form new developmental leagues.  The Appalachian League has reorganized as a collegiate summer wood bat league.  Six teams in the northeast have been reassigned to the MLB Draft League.  The Pioneer League has gone independent and franchises are unaffiliated with MLB teams, but the league retains a partnership with MLB.  Still, another 18 teams were left unaffiliated or without a reassignment.

Finally, like Triple-A and Double-A, there are still no postseason plans in place for High-A or Low-A.  How Minor League Baseball plans to determine their league champions remains to be determined.

Brian Koss
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