A game featuring the Class A-Advanced San Jose Giants in 1994
A game featuring the Class A-Advanced San Jose Giants in 1994

High-A (officially Class High-A, formerly known as Class A-Advanced, and sometimes abbreviated "A+" in writing) is the third-highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Canada, below Triple-A and Double-A, and above Single-A. There are 30 teams classified at the High-A level, one for each team in Major League Baseball (MLB), organized into three leagues: the Midwest League, Northwest League, and South Atlantic League.

History

Class High-A was established as a classification level within Minor League Baseball in 1990 by subdividing the existing Class A.[1] Class A had been the third-highest level in the minor leagues since 1936 (when it was below Double-A and Class A1) and a hierarchy of Triple-A and Double-A above Class A had been in place since 1946.[2]: 15  In 1963, the three classes below Class A (Classes B, C, and D) were abolished, with leagues at those levels moved into Class A.[2]: 15  In 1965, Class A was subdivided for the first time, with the establishment of lower-level Class A Short Season leagues.

The 1965 hierarchy was in place for 25 years, until Class A was further subdivided in 1990, with Class A-Advanced becoming the third-highest classification:

  1. Triple-A
  2. Double-A
  3. Class A-Advanced
  4. Class A ("Full-Season A")
  5. Class A Short Season ("Short-Season A")
  6. Rookie league

Three leagues, each previously Class A, received the Class A-Advanced designation: the California League, Carolina League, and Florida State League.[1] This arrangement continued until 2021, when Major League Baseball (MLB) restructured the minor leagues, eliminating Class A Short Season and discontinuing the use of all historical league names within Minor League Baseball.[3] The existing Class A-Advanced leagues were moved to the Class A level and operated under generic names (Low-A West, Low-A East, and Low-A Southeast) during 2021. The Class A-Advanced level was officially renamed as "Class High-A",[4][5] and also operated three leagues during 2021 with generic names: High-A Central, High-A East, and High-A West.[6] These three High-A leagues had historically been known as the Midwest League, South Atlantic League, and Northwest League—the first two had previously operated at the Class A level, while the latter had previously operated at the Class A Short Season level. Following MLB's acquisition of the rights to the names of the historical minor leagues, MLB announced on March 16, 2022, that the leagues would revert to their prior names, effective with the 2022 season.[7]

Current teams

Midwest League

Main article: Midwest League

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
East Dayton Dragons Cincinnati Reds Dayton, Ohio Day Air Ballpark 7,230
Fort Wayne TinCaps San Diego Padres Fort Wayne, Indiana Parkview Field 8,100
Great Lakes Loons Los Angeles Dodgers Midland, Michigan Dow Diamond 5,200
Lake County Captains Cleveland Guardians Eastlake, Ohio Classic Park 7,273
Lansing Lugnuts Oakland Athletics Lansing, Michigan Jackson Field 9,500
West Michigan Whitecaps Detroit Tigers Comstock Park, Michigan LMCU Ballpark 9,281
West Beloit Sky Carp Miami Marlins Beloit, Wisconsin ABC Supply Stadium 3,850
Cedar Rapids Kernels Minnesota Twins Cedar Rapids, Iowa Veterans Memorial Stadium 5,300
Peoria Chiefs St. Louis Cardinals Peoria, Illinois Dozer Park 7,377
Quad Cities River Bandits Kansas City Royals Davenport, Iowa Modern Woodmen Park 7,140
South Bend Cubs Chicago Cubs South Bend, Indiana Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium 5,000
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Milwaukee Brewers Appleton, Wisconsin Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium 5,900

Northwest League

Main article: Northwest League

Team Founded MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
Eugene Emeralds 1955 San Francisco Giants Eugene, Oregon PK Park 4,000
Everett AquaSox 1995 Seattle Mariners Everett, Washington Funko Field 3,682
Hillsboro Hops 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks Hillsboro, Oregon Ron Tonkin Field 4,500
Spokane Indians 1898 Colorado Rockies Spokane, Washington Avista Stadium 6,803
Tri-City Dust Devils 2001 Los Angeles Angels Pasco, Washington Gesa Stadium 3,654
Vancouver Canadians 2000 Toronto Blue Jays Vancouver, British Columbia Nat Bailey Stadium 6,500

South Atlantic League

Main article: South Atlantic League

Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
North Aberdeen IronBirds Baltimore Orioles Aberdeen, Maryland Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium 6,300
Brooklyn Cyclones New York Mets Brooklyn, New York Maimonides Park 7,000
Greensboro Grasshoppers Pittsburgh Pirates Greensboro, North Carolina First National Bank Field 7,499
Hudson Valley Renegades New York Yankees Wappingers Falls, New York Dutchess Stadium 4,500
Jersey Shore BlueClaws Philadelphia Phillies Lakewood, New Jersey ShoreTown Ballpark 8,000
Wilmington Blue Rocks Washington Nationals Wilmington, Delaware Daniel S. Frawley Stadium 6,404
South Asheville Tourists Houston Astros Asheville, North Carolina McCormick Field 4,000
Bowling Green Hot Rods Tampa Bay Rays Bowling Green, Kentucky Bowling Green Ballpark 4,559
Greenville Drive Boston Red Sox Greenville, South Carolina Fluor Field at the West End 6,700
Hickory Crawdads Texas Rangers Hickory, North Carolina L. P. Frans Stadium 5,062
Rome Braves Atlanta Braves Rome, Georgia AdventHealth Stadium 5,105
Winston-Salem Dash Chicago White Sox Winston-Salem, North Carolina Truist Stadium 5,500

Playoffs

This section needs expansion with: playoff structure prior to the 2021 re-org. You can help by adding to it. (June 2021)

On June 30, 2021, Minor League Baseball announced that the top two teams in each league (based on full-season winning percentage, and regardless of division) would meet in a best-of-five postseason series to determine league champions.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b Cronin, John (2013). "Truth in the Minor League Class Structure: The Case for the Reclassification of the Minors". SABR. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  2. ^ a b The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, editors (Third ed.). Baseball America. 2007. ISBN 1932391177.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Creamer, Chris (February 15, 2021). "A Breakdown of Minor League Baseball's Total Realignment for 2021". sportslogos.net. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  4. ^ The Official Professional Baseball Rules Book (PDF). New York City: Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. 2021. p. 10. Retrieved May 1, 2021 – via mlbpa.org.
  5. ^ The Official Professional Baseball Rules Book (PDF). New York City: Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. 2019. pp. 158–159. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 31, 2019 – via Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Teams by League and Classification". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Historical league names to return in 2022". milb.com. Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  8. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (June 30, 2021). "Playoffs return to the Minor Leagues". MiLB.com. Retrieved July 1, 2021.