White Sox Minor Keys: Sept. 8, 2021

Whlle we talked about some of the economic issues that could cause friction in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations on Wednesday, Robert O’Connell wrote a post at Defector that tilted the open can of worms when it comes to minor league compensation, allowing everybody to get a look at what’s wriggling inside.

Titled “Minor League Baseball is optimized to exploit,” it sums up the issues prospects we’ve discussed here and there (fights for housing, poor nutrition), and others I haven’t seen much about. It opens with coaches who are incentivized to tinker with players even if it could be harmful, and toward the end is a horror story about a host family.

“People speak about host families endearingly, which is bullshit—they don’t pay us enough to get our own place,” Player 2 said. The vetting process is predictably minimal. That first year, Player 2 and a handful of teammates lived with what he described as an “obsessive superfan,” in a home crammed with knickknacks from the big-league club and its various affiliates. The players snuck through the house during those hours if they couldn’t avoid it altogether. “He’d come knock on our doors and want to talk to us, and you’d have to sign shit. You’d have to sign baseball cards and bobbleheads—all this guy’s basement was absolutely decked out in every piece of memorabilia that you can find,” Player 2 said. “It was scary, honestly. We just wanted a place to sleep, and you kind of had to indulge him because you’re staying at his house. You’ve got nowhere else to live.”

Jacksonville 2, Charlotte 1

  • Adam Engel played center and went 1-for-3.
  • Jake Burger was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Yermín Mercedes was 0-for-3.
  • So was Blake Rutherford, who struck out once.
  • Micker Adolfo struck out all three times.

Birmingham 7, Rocket City 5

  • Carlos Pérez went 1-for-5 with his 20th double.
  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with a single.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes had his first big night in a while, going 3-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base.

Fayetteville 5, Kannapolis 3

  • Caberea Weaver went 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Bryan Ramos was 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk.
  • DJ Gladney was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Misael Gonzalez went 0-for-3 with a walk and a K.
  • Chase Krogman homered, walked and struck out twice.
  • Wilber Sanchez walked, got plunked and struck out twice.
  • Sean Burke: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Winston-Salem vs. Bowling Green PPD

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Horror story indeed — “We just wanted a place to sleep….”


That host story is disgusting. That MLB orgs won’t provide their mostly poorly compensated minor league players with room and board is also disgusting.


I remember hearing that the Royals treated prospects better than most teams and it helped them after last year’s draft. Do they provide housing and food or better base level compensation?

Greg Nix

I worked at non-union theatres in several rookie league-esque towns, and even the places that paid like $300 bucks a week generally had to give us housing. Crazy that MLB has gotten away with this shit for so long.

As Cirensica

That article was really something scary to read. Hey Jim what do minor leaguers get during the off-season? Do they still get “paid” whatever misery they received? or they only get paid when they play?

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t think they even get paid for Spring Training, let alone the offseason.


I remember a series on the old site that was written by a former minor leaguer and I remember they only get paid during the actual minor league season. Offseason, spring training, etc are unpaid even if the team is still requesting/requiring them to work out at a team facility. Minor league compensation is a shitshow.


Makes all the more amazing the willingness of organization-fodder guys to keep plugging….


Part of the science of sports performance is nutrition. I don’t understand why you would want your potential future big league players subsisting off of fast food or not enough food. It makes no sense. Feeding them properly is really the low hanging fruit.

Last edited 1 year ago by ndsoxfan

Baseball is a great game but a nasty business. Especially considering the ridiculous amount of money owners have where they could rectify stuff like this without it affecting them financially in the slightest.