Double-A Will Use Minor League Baseballs In 2020
The Double-A leagues will continue to use the minor league baseball in 2020, officials from both Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball confirmed to Baseball America on Friday.
The Triple-A leagues switched from the minor league ball to the major league ball last year and saw a historic offensive explosion. The three Double-A leagues—the Texas League, Southern League and Eastern League—were rumored to be moving to the major league ball in 2020, but instead will continue to use the minor league baseball, according to both MiLB spokesman Jeff Lantz and MLB spokesman Mike Teevan.
The increased home run rate in MLB and Triple-A last year has prompted scrutiny of the quality and consistency of the baseballs, particularly after the home run rate dropped in last year’s postseason.
MLB balls are produced at the Rawlings factory in Costa Rica, while minor league balls are made in China. The difference in the balls, and how they acted in games, became a focal point of discussion last year amidst a 21 percent increase in the number of runs scored and a 58 percent increase in the number of home runs hit at the Triple-A levels after switching to the MLB ball.
The Triple-A leagues will continue to use the MLB ball in 2020.
J.J. Cooper and Josh Norris provided additional reporting.