Majors vs. Minors - Selecting the Right League for Your Child
The purpose of this section is to try to provide some guidance as you consider which league, Majors or Minors, would be appropriate for your son next season. We anticipate registration for the upcoming season will be completed in mid to late December. Tryouts for Majors will be held some time in mid-January with a draft to follow at the end of January. Workouts and the draft for Minors will follow shortly after the Majors draft. The age profile for a Majors player is typically either 12 or 11 with a handful of 10 year olds also included.
There are important differences between the Majors and Minors that you need to consider as you make your decision. While team philosophy is greatly influenced by each Manager, the game at the Major league level is played more competitively than at the Minor league level. There are also numerous differences in the rules which effect playing time as well as positional play on defense.
All 12 year olds have the option to play in the majors. Your 12-year-old son will not need to “try-out” for majors, although he will need to participate in a work-out for draft purposes. This is a Little League International Rule. If as a parent you feel your 12-year-old son would be better suited to playing in the Minors, there is a specific process that must be followed. Please feel free to contact one of the Major league coordinators if you feel this applies to your son.
Majors uses a continuous batting order. If your son played Minors or AAA last year you are already familiar with continuous batting where all players are in the batting order rather than only 9 at any one time as is the case with all-star teams. This guarantees that all players on the team will get at least two at-bats per game before any player gets a third at-bat. While the use of the continuous batting order provides for more balanced participation on the offensive side of the game there will continue to be important differences on the defensive side. A typical approach to defense is to have the top six players play the whole game and have these players play the key positions. The remaining six players will share time subject to minimum play requirements, which will require three innings in the field. The more skilled players will tend to get more defensive innings than the less skilled players. Positional play also tends to be developed in Majors and there is no requirement for a player to play any particular position, nor is there any maximum innings that a player can play the same position.
Some general guidance:
In most circumstances if your son will be 12 years old next season then he should play in the Majors.
For those boys who will be 11 years old next season – some will make majors, be in the top six on their team and will have a lot of playing time. Some will be in the bottom six and will not get as many opportunities in the game as they may in Minors, nor be able to play the positions they prefer (including pitcher). The advantage is they will be playing with kids with generally better skill sets, playing more games and should expect to improve their skills. And while playing time is important, being part of a team as a part-time player can be a very valuable experience, too. Some of these boys, however, could play another year in Minors; have more playing time and more opportunities at key positions (i.e. pitcher, catcher, middle infield). As you can see, there are pros and cons.
For those boys who will be 10 next season, it is very difficult to compete with a solid player two years their senior. While there are a small number of 10 year olds with outstanding ability who will be able to compete in the Majors, most players this age will benefit from a year in the Minors.
We know this can be a difficult decision and we simply want to make sure you have the facts to make an informed decision. Whether it is in the Majors or the Minors we look forward to another great year of baseball in West Windsor . If you have any questions or concerns then please contact