From Travis Sawchik at FiveThirtyEight on September 9, 2019:
Since the 1970s, Major League Baseball clubs have generally added more and more minor league affiliates. In 1979, there were an average of 4.7 affiliates per major league club. This season there are 8.2 — a total of 245 minor league affiliates, the most since 1948, spread across 30 major league organizations.
But the Houston Astros, a model of modern player development, bucked that trend a few years ago. After the 2017 season, they reduced their affiliate count from nine to seven clubs. The Astros believed they could become a more efficient producer of talent with fewer farm clubs.
“For the baseball people, it was a feeling that it was better to concentrate the coaching resources. We were trying to support a bunch of players that had a less than one percent chance of making the major leagues,” said an ex-Astros official whose current team didn’t grant him permission to speak to us.
Read the full article here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/do-we-even-need-minor-league-baseball/
Originally published: September 11, 2019. Last Updated: September 11, 2019.