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Millions of boys and girls grow up in the United States dreaming about playing major league baseball or major league softball. Dads in every town and city in the country encourage their children to pursue their dreams. But, it’s a long trip “to the top” that includes spending time in the minor leagues, often several years. So it is important for dads to ask themselves one important question: “how much do Minor League Ballplayers make?”
The answer is going to shock you. The truth is that ballplayers at the lower levels (there are six minor league levels) earn very little money, often less than what people are paid to “flip hamburgers” in a fast food restaurant.
While earning a small amount of money may be acceptable for a year or two, it is likely to make life more difficult over time, even for a young athlete that has no family to support. And for the vast majority of ballplayers, the “trip to the Major Leagues” can take several years, if they make it at all.
So, before committing to “making it” as a Major League Ballplayer, dads and their athlete sons must consider the real possibility that the career being dreamed about never moves beyond “playing in the Minor Leagues.”
Is it worth playing professionally at the lower levels for ten or more years? That’s a decision each dad and son must make for themselves. Of course, the more information you have, the easier it will be to reach a sensible and sound solution.
Here is everything you need to know …
There Are Six Minor League Levels – And Specific Pay Scales For Each Level
Most young ballplayers are “drafted” out of high school or college by Major League organizations. When that happens, they generally receive a “signing bonus.” It can be modest, no more than several thousand dollars, or large, millions of dollars, if the player is highly touted.
Once drafted, the young “future star” signs what is known as a Standard Seven-Year Minor League contract and immediately begins his minor league playing career.
Pay, as noted above, is determined by the level in which the young athlete plays. And payments are made monthly during the “regular season.
Here is what a young baseball player can expect to earn monthly (as per the authorized and approved Pay Scale from 2010) …
$1,150 per month in the first year of employment … twelve hundred dollars per month in year two … and just $1,250 per month in the third year, if still playing in the Rookie League. Broken down to “weekly pay,” it means that Rookie ballplayers earn just over $285 per week. That, by any standard , is barely a livable wage.
Does it get better when a young player moves up to the second level in the Minor Leagues? Judge for yourself …
One thousand one hundred fifty dollars per month in Year One in this league … twelve hundred dollars a month in Year Two and just $1,250 per month in the third year.
Have you noticed anything unusual? Yes, the pay scale is identical to that paid by Major League baseball organizations to players in the “lower level” Rookie League.
By now, you may be wondering if a good, young ballplayer can ever hope to get a raise in pay. Read on to find out …
$1,300 per month in their first year in this league … $1,350 per month in Year Two and a whopping one thousand four hundred dollars per month if they are still in the league in Year Three.
It’s not a big raise, of course, but it is more money than what was being paid in the two lowest leagues. But what happens to baseball players if they continue to move up in the Minor Leagues? The answer is below …
Here’s Proof That It Can Be Profitable – To Play Baseball In The Minor Leagues
The three “upper leagues” in the Minor Leagues provide a pay scale that is more reasonable than the pay scale in the lower leagues, but is still insufficient for anyone hoping to live a “middle class lifestyle.”
$1,500 per month in their first year in this league … $1,550 per month in Year Two in the league … and $1,600 per month in the third year in the league.
That constitutes a raise and a chance to live a bit more comfortably away from the baseball; field. And it gets better. Consider the following …
$1,700 per month in Year One in this league … one thousand eight hundred dollars per month in the second year … and $1,900 per month in Year Three.
It’s still not enough to buy a house, but it does allow a player to eat a meal in a restaurant from time to time. Now, here is the “top league” …
Getting Paid Finally Gets Better – In This Top Minor League Level
$2,150 per month in Year One on this “last stop” before the Major Leagues … two thousand four hundred dollars per month in the second year … and $2,750 per month in Year Three.
It’s still not “great pay,” but for young men who love to “play for pay” instead of sitting behind a desk, it’s a “dream come true.”
And there are perks that can add up. These include …
Ballplayers that work their way through the Minor Leagues also receive special “cash incentives.” They are as follows: a $500 Bonus after playing 60 days in Double “A” … a $1,000 Bonus after playing 60 days in Triple “A” … and a Big $5,000 Bonus after playing sixty days at the Major League Level.
Ballplayers receive $20 Meal Money every day in the Minor Leagues (every level) when their team plays “on the road.” That daily payment is not made during the off-season or during Spring Training.
That’s it … everything you need to know about Minor League Pay Scales and salaries. Clearly, the money isn’t great, but for a young man responsible only for himself, it may be worth “pursuing the dream.”
Here is something else that may be worthwhile …
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