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Numbers Game: Makeup Of The Minors



Major League Baseball trumpets its international flavor each spring by publicizing the percentage of players born outside the United States who appear on Opening Day rosters. This season, 29 percent of major leaguers were foreign born.

That rate holds remarkably steady in the full-season minor leagues, where 28 percent of players on Opening Day rosters were born outside the U.S. We will examine the birthplace data and many other demographics in our annual Makeup Of The Minors feature.

Higher Learning

College players are always in demand in each draft, particularly pitchers, catchers and shortstops. Their maturity and experience are vital to building rosters for a five-month minor league season. Of the 2,142 draft-eligible players in the minors on Opening Day, a full 70 percent of them come from four-year college programs.

Source         Players              Pct
College             1,510     70.49%
High School        465     21.71%
Junior College    167        7.80%

Satisfied Customers

Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conference players tend to be more popular in the draft, judging by the number of alumni in the minors on Opening Day. Both the SEC (Vanderbilt, Louisiana State, South Carolina, Florida, Texas A&M and Mississippi) and ACC (Louisville, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia, Clemson and Georgia Tech) had six schools represented among the top 20.

Vanderbilt.................................... 24
Louisville...................................... 22
Louisiana State........................... 20
South Carolina............................ 20
Florida.......................................... 18
Florida State................................ 18
North Carolina............................ 18
Oklahoma.................................... 18
Texas A&M................................... 18
Texas Christian........................... 18
Virginia......................................... 18
UCLA............................................. 17
Arizona......................................... 16
Cal State Fullerton..................... 16
Clemson...................................... 16
Mississippi................................... 16
Dallas Baptist.............................. 15
Stanford....................................... 15
Georgia Tech.............................. 14
Texas............................................. 14

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Staying Power

Teams extend longer leashes to first-round draft picks, which shouldn’t come as a surprise based on the dollars invested. A tick more than 6 percent of all drafted players on minor league Opening Day were selected in the first round, a higher percentage than any other draft round. Second- and third-rounders each account for roughly 6 percent of the population.

Rounds           Players                    Pct
1-10                     1,242                53.23%
11-20                      604                25.88%
21-30                      337                14.44%
31-40                      142                   6.08%

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