Feeder system for major league
baseball in the United States
. Different levels or "classes" of leagues exist, similar to the division
structure in FIFA
leagues worldwide; unlike those systems, no promotion
exists in minor league baseball (or in any other North American
professional sport, for that matter). This is because (a) most teams are semi-permanently affiliated with one particular major league club, which supplies players, pays their salaries and moves them up and down the ladder as necessary, and (b) the differences in stadium
size and TV market
size are much more pronounced between the majors and AAA ball (imagine, say, the Chicago White Sox
and Chicago Cubs
being relegated in favor of the Rochester Red Wings
and Fresno Grizzlies
) than in most international soccer systems.
Listed below are all leagues containing major league-affiliated clubs. In addition, the AAA-level Mexican League is also governed by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minors' governing body, but operates mostly on its own; several independent leagues (not part of the National Association) also exist, with varying levels of play.
Classes and leagues: