2023 Fans' Guide to MiLB Opening Day (2023)

Let’s spread out the fun. Let’s have multiple Opening Days. That is just what’s happening in the Minor Leagues over the next two weeks. While Major League Opening Day arrives for all clubs Thursday, the Minors’ editions will come on three separate days: March 31 for Triple-A; April 6 for

Let’s spread out the fun. Let’s have multiple Opening Days.

That is just what’s happening in the Minor Leagues over the next two weeks. While Major League Opening Day arrives for all clubs Thursday, the Minors’ editions will come on three separate days: March 31 for Triple-A; April 6 for most Double-A, High-A and Single-A clubs and April 7 for the rest of them.

Before first pitches arrive from coast to coast, let’s get you prepared for the 2023 season. First, dive into the MLB Pipeline prospect rankings to find out who are baseball’s top young talents fighting their way toward the Majors. You can also dig into the MiLB.com Prospect Primers to discover the futures of each Major League division.

Then, subscribe to and download recent episodes of The Show Before the Show, the official podcast of Minor League Baseball, to get you even more pumped. Maybe even listen on your drive to the diamond. Benjamin Hill, one of the podcast’s co-hosts, covers the business and culture of Minor League Baseball. Subscribe to his Ben’s Biz Beat newsletter to learn about what’s taking place at ballparks all over the country.

Speaking of which, are you looking to plan a Minor League road trip this spring or summer? Be sure to read up on our Minor League Ballpark Guides, covering every aspect of the stadium experience across the Minors. (This project, nearly two years in the making, will officially launch on April 6 with an interactive landing page allowing fans to plan Minor League road trips by region, level, affiliation and more. Stay tuned.)

Do you want to know why we as a staff are excited for the springtime return of Minor League Baseball? We counted the ways. We encourage you to tell us your own on the @MiLB social media channels. You also may want to express that through Minor League merch, and the MiLB Store has everything you need, from Copa gear to jerseys to on-field caps and more.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you can see all of the Minor League action this year from the comfort of your own home or wherever life takes you in 2023. Good news: MiLB.TV is now part of the MLB At Bat subscription, so At Bat will also bring you 7,000-plus games this year from all four full-season levels. More on what’s new here.

(Video) The Haters Guide to the 2023 MLB Season

So that’s your pregame reading, writing, watching and listening taken care of. Now onto what you should pay attention to following the utterance of those two glorious words: Play ball!

Thursday, April 6

New Hampshire @ Altoona/Binghamton @ Portland, 6 p.m. ET: It’ll be an Eastern League race to see who can get the first non-Triple-A pitch of the 2023 season delivered on Thursday. Henry Davis, the 2021 No. 1 overall pick and No. 3 Pirates prospect, could catch that pitch should he start behind the plate for Altoona as expected. On the Portland side, watch out for crazy catches by Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela, who made a habit of providing highlight-worthy plays last year.

Dayton @ Lake County, 6:35 p.m. ET: The Lake County Captains, a Cleveland affiliate conveniently located in a suburb thereof, have entered a new era. The team was purchased in the offseason by a group led by Alan Miller, who also owns the summer-collegiate Portland Pickles. That team’s anything-goes spirit will be on display tonight, including but not limited to unique opening series “Dragons vs. Captains” artwork, the debut of bold new food items (the reimagined Moby Dick sandwich contains 24 sardines, and that’s not even the half of it), and perhaps the hatching of a giant egg that’s been growing on the concourse.

Bowling Green @ Asheville, 6:35 p.m. ET: April 6 is a Thursday, and in Minor League Baseball that often means it’s “Thirsty Thursday” featuring discounted beer. The Asheville Tourists originated the term Thirsty Thursday -- seriously, they own the trademark -- so it’s only fitting they’re starting the season in such a time-honored alliterative fashion. Asheville is a great town for local brews too, and many can be found at the Tourists’ iconic home of McCormick Field (now 99 years old).

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Dunedin @ Fort Myers, 7 p.m. ET: On Sept. 28, Fort Myers -- and southwest Florida in general -- was battered by Hurricane Ian. The Mighty Mussels’ home of Hammond Stadium, which also serves as the Twins’ Spring Training home, was utilized as a staging area for first responders. So the Mighty Mussels rightfully decided to open their season with a tribute to these first responders, as their selfless and dangerous work was so important to the community.

2023 Fans' Guide to MiLB Opening Day (2)

Delmarva @ Salem, 7:05 p.m. ET: Last year’s No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday spent plenty of time in Major League camp this spring and impressed Orioles brass along the way with his advanced tools at just 19 years old. His regular-season debut is expected to come this night in the Carolina League. He won’t be alone in terms of big names either. No. 93 overall prospect Miguel Bleis -- a potential five-tool outfielder who turned 19 on March 1 -- is also expected to start for Red Sox affiliate Salem.

Wilmington @ Aberdeen, 7:05 p.m. ET: Nationals fans will take a keener interest in their Minor League system this year, so you can bet a lot of eyes will be on James Wood. While rosters aren’t out yet, MLB Pipeline’s No. 17 overall prospect is expected to open at High-A with Wilmington, but with his impressive approach, speed and power at 6-foot-6, he might not be long for the South Atlantic League.

2023 Fans' Guide to MiLB Opening Day (3)

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Hillsboro @ Tri-City, 9:30 p.m. ET: Ronnie Gajownik will make history from the Hops dugout when she becomes the first woman to manage at High-A or above in this Northwest League contest. Gajownik spoke to the MiLB podcast in January about the role and also circled back with Kelsie Heneghan from Spring Training to speak on the journey to this point (see above).

Friday, April 7

Clearwater @ Bradenton, 6:30 p.m. ET: In 1923, a new ballpark opened in Bradenton, Florida. It was a modest structure, like most parks of its era, costing $2,000 to build and boasting a capacity of 2,000. One hundred years -- and many renovations and additions later -- that ballpark is still going strong. Now known as LECOM Park, it serves as the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and then hosts their Florida State League affiliate, the Marauders, during the regular season. It’ll be a 100th birthday party of sorts that lasts all season long.

2023 Fans' Guide to MiLB Opening Day (4)

The Diamond, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, opened in 1985.

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Reading @ Richmond, 6:35 p.m. ET: The Richmond Flying Squirrels are slated to move to a new ballpark in 2025, meaning fans still have two seasons to enjoy the ‘80s throwback charm of the gargantuan concrete bowl that is The Diamond. The team has sold out Opening Day for the 13th consecutive year, and this year’s festivities have an added bonus. Robert Wuhl, who played pitching coach Larry Hocket in "Bull Durham," will throw out the first pitch and then sign autographs on the concourse.

Spokane @ Vancouver, 10:05 p.m. ET: This will be the last season debut shown on MiLB.TV. But hey, you don’t need another reason to watch more baseball. After this, no more Opening Days. Now we’re off and running for good.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com and MLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @SamDykstraMiLB.

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  • Opening Day


2023 Fans' Guide to MiLB Opening Day? ›

A: An hour and five minutes before First Pitch. So, for instance, if the game is scheduled to start at 7:05, fans will be welcomed in at 6 p.m.

How early should you get to a Minor League Baseball game? ›

A: An hour and five minutes before First Pitch. So, for instance, if the game is scheduled to start at 7:05, fans will be welcomed in at 6 p.m.

Can you tryout for milb? ›

A. Although tryouts may be held at a team's facility, it is not possible to tryout directly for a Minor League Baseball team. All players in the Minors are signed by Major League organizations and then assigned to a Minor League affiliate's roster.

Do Milb players get housing? ›

The family-friendly housing option guarantees a married player a private bedroom, while a player with one or more children is guaranteed at least two bedrooms. The stipend would be equal to the actual average rent for players at the affiliate, and no less than $50 per night.

Do minor league teams hold open tryouts? ›

Minor League Baseball teams don't hold open tryouts, and the path players take to reach the Minors (and the Majors) isn't always simple. Most players currently in the Minors or Majors were drafted or signed as free agents.

Is 12 years old too late to start baseball? ›

There is no age that is too late if you have a kid that is exceptionally gifted athletically, however, if they are a below-average athlete beyond the age of 12 it starts to get very difficult for kids to catch up to peers that have trained their whole lives in baseball.

At what age do youth baseball players peak? ›

But while each individual has their own rate of decline, generally speaking, we know a fair amount about how age affects hitters' abilities: A typical player peaks around age 26 and gradually declines afterward in what we know as the age curve.

How much do you make in MiLB? ›

The resulting situation is that salaries in the minor leagues range from around $4800 to $14000 per year. Per year. If you work full-time at a minimum wage job, you will make $32,344 per year, and you will be earning more than double what most professional baseball players earn.

How do you get noticed by MLB scouts? ›

8 Tips To Help You Get Noticed by College Baseball Scouts
  1. Put in the WORK. ...
  2. Know college recruiting rules and schedule. ...
  3. Write down your target list of schools. ...
  4. Show off your skills with video. ...
  5. Build profiles on recruiting websites. ...
  6. Get a Rapsodo Certified Assessment. ...
  7. Reach out to coaches on your target list.

Can you go from MiLB to MLB? ›

Do all baseball players start in the minor leagues? There have been a handful of players to skip the minors and go straight to the big leagues, but this is very, very rare. Only 2 guys in the last 15 years have done it (Mike Leake in 2010 and Xavier Nady in 2000).

Do minor league players get free food? ›

Minor leaguers are not paid during spring training. They receive only whatever housing, food and allowances, stipends and/or per diems their teams issue from the time they report to camp through the start of the minor league regular season, when they begin to draw their salaries.

How much does a single a MiLB player make? ›

What Is the Average Minor League Baseball Player Salary by State
StateAnnual SalaryMonthly Pay
North Carolina$48,446$4,037
North Dakota$45,505$3,792
South Carolina$44,552$3,712
46 more rows

How much does a MiLB team cost? ›

MiLB franchises trade at values ranging from $6 million to $50 million+, depending on the League, level of play (Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A, etc.) and financial performance of the franchise.

Do minor league players have day jobs? ›

Some minor league players said they took odd jobs — like mowing lawns — to make ends meet during the off season. Other players have taken up part-time landscaping gigs or moonlighted as athletic trainers. Minor league players will receive four weeks of retroactive spring training pay this year.

How many minor league players can a team have? ›

LevelActive roster sizePlayer restrictions
Triple-A28 playersno restrictions
Double-A28 playersno restrictions
High-A30 playersNo more than 2 players and 1 player-coach with 6 or more years of minor-league experience
Single-A30 playersNo more than 2 players with 5 or more years of minor-league experience
2 more rows

Do minor league players get paid more when called up? ›

It is pro-rated based on service days - there are 187 service days in a full season - so a minor league callup receiving the minimum salary will receive just under $3000 a day for every day the player is on the active roster or injured list.

Can you play baseball at 40? ›

Baseball is a tough sport, but, says Sigler, "once you're back on the field, you find the skills come back. You may find you're even better than when you were younger. Guys in their 40s and even 50s are still athletes who can play at a competitive level."

What age do kids quit baseball? ›

A national survey from the Aspen Institute with the Utah State University Families in Sports Lab found that the average kid quits playing sports by age 11.

How many innings do 12 year olds play? ›

A game will consist of six innings or a 1 hour and 20-minute time limit.

What age do MLB players start to decline? ›

Players tend to decline at/after 30 years of age, and decline is pretty constant until they're out of baseball. Pitchers also decline, and before they hit 30, their command tends to improve while velocity is always declining, which cancel each other out.

Does age matter in baseball? ›

Groundball rate (GB%) decreases as age increases, but decreases more rapidly before age 30 and more slowly after age 30. Presumably, as hitters age, they learn to hit the ball in the air more often in order to hit for more power and to compensate for likely declining speed.

What age do most players enter the MLB? ›

The average age of an active player on an MLB Opening Day roster was 29.33 years old. The median age of players on Opening Day rosters was 28.88. But as always, there's a new wave of youngsters who have many years before they reach that average.

What's the lowest paid MLB player? ›

2023 minimum MLB salary

One of these players hovering near the league minimum is Josh Jung, the third baseman for the Texas Rangers, and without doubt the steal of the year at only $721,485. The CBA lays out a schedule to raise the league minimum each year and this season it is set at $720,000.

How much do minor league players make in 2023? ›

Unlike the major league labor contract that sets yearly salary minimums, the minor league deal specifies weekly minimums. They are, according to details obtained by The Associated Press: Rookie league: $675 in 2023 and '24, $700 in '25, $710 in '26 and $720 in '27.

How much does a double A MiLB make? ›

Minimum salaries will increase from $4,800 to $19,800 a season for rookie ball; $11,000 to $27,300 at High Class A; $13,800 to $27,300 at Class AA; and $17,500 to $45,800 at Class AAA, according to The Associated Press.

How hard do d3 pitchers throw? ›

Division III players have a pitching velocity of 77 miles per hour to 82 miles per hour on average.

How do I get my son scouted for baseball? ›

Here are several things that you can do:
  1. Send letters and information to the professional teams. ...
  2. Attend a pro try-out day, in your area. ...
  3. Attend a Major League Scouting Bureau try-out. ...
  4. Play on a quality, high level, competitive summer travel team.

Is it hard to get recruited for baseball? ›

Being recruited for baseball is highly competitive and every day an athlete does not do something to advance their recruiting process, you can assume another recruit out there is doing just that. Do the research. Below you'll learn how to create a list of target schools that will be the best match for you.

Is single A better than Triple-A? ›

Class A, also known as Single-A and sometimes as Low-A, is the fourth-highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States, below Triple-A, Double-A, and High-A.

How much do AAA Minor League Baseball players make? ›

So how much is the average AAA salary for minor league baseball? AAA baseball players recently got a pay bump, resulting in triple-A players making a minimum of $17,500 for an entire year prior to the 2023 season. This amount will increase to $35,800 in coming years once the deal between the MLB and MLBPA is finalized.

What do MiLB players do in the off season? ›

Most players do things that they enjoy, but don't have time for during the season. They play golf, tennis, fish and/or hunt and stay just active enough to maintain fitness as they recover from the season. Players are encourage to take at least three weeks to unload, rest and recover before starting off-season training.

Why is minor league salary so low? ›

Now the closer you get to the majors, the more money you get, but almost all players make poverty level wages. One big reason annual salaries are so low, players only get paid when games happen during the season.

Why are minor leaguers paid so little? ›

They are not even paid in accordance with federal minimum wage laws after the league lobbied Congress for dispensation to pay their minor leaguers less than is required by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

What is the minimum salary for a 40 man roster? ›

Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($700,000 in 2022, $720,000 in 2023, $740,000 in 2024, $760,000 in 2025, and $780,000 in 2026) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% ...

How much does a minor league umpire make? ›

In the minor leagues, umpires can earn anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 per month, while in the Major Leagues, umpires can earn upwards of $300,000 per year.

How do MiLB teams make money? ›

Minor League teams do not have the television and sponsorship monies of the major league parent teams. They must play the games, sell the tickets, sell the merchandise, sell the food & beverages, and entertain the fans to earn their revenue. Sponsorships.

Do MiLB players buy their own bats? ›

While MLB players sometimes buy their own bats, they often have endorsement deals with brands, reports Baseball Boom. Teams also provide a certain number of bats for each athlete; they'll buy a players' preferred bats. Sometimes, players will simply purchase a bat they'd like to try out.

Is MiLB profitable? ›

The average MLB team value is up 12% this year, to $2.32 billion. During the 2022 season, revenue (net of stadium debt service) increased 7.8%, to an all-time high of $10.3 billion.

How early can you enter a baseball game? ›

Typical Gate Opening Times at MLB Ballparks. Gates open 90 minutes prior to the scheduled game time for 80 of 81 games (Opening Day, at 2 hours, is the only exception). The stadium in Anaheim has six gates any fan can use. All of them open 90 minutes prior to the scheduled game time.

How many hours is a Minor League Baseball game? ›

The average minor league baseball game will last approximately three hours. Minor league baseball plays a full 9-inning baseball game just like Major League Baseball.

What is the bag policy at MiLB stadium? ›

In most stadiums, any bag bigger than a clutch (4.5" x 6.5") needs to be clear in order to be permitted. Bags over a certain size (even if they're clear), typically 12” x 6” x 12”, are also prohibited.

What time do gates open for Ironpigs? ›

What time do gates open? The main gate (East Gate) and LVHN Gate (Centerfield Gate) typically opens one hour and 15 minutes prior to first pitch. The PNC Club gate (West Gate) opens approximately 90 minutes prior to first pitch. Check our online previews and Twitter for updated times.

What happens if a baseball game is called early? ›

If a regulation game is terminated early due to weather and the game is either tied or in the midst of an inning in which the visiting team has taken the lead, it becomes a suspended game that will be completed at a later date from the point of termination.

Can you sit anywhere at a baseball game? ›

If people have clearly left a game early, those seats are on a first come, first serve basis. If no one has arrived at those seats by the seventh inning, those seats are also fair game. If there are plenty of seats in the general area, feel free to sit where you want in that general area.

What time is batting practice before a MLB game? ›

Please Note: The Batting Practice Experience begins 3 hours prior to first pitch and is not available on day games.

How many innings are in MiLB? ›

Minor league games are 6 inning games. Extra innings may be played in accordance with the league time and other game completion rules.

Is there a pitch clock in the minors? ›

Under the current pitch timer rules in MiLB, there is a 14-second timer between pitches with no one on base and 18 seconds with a runner on base (19 seconds in Triple-A). There is a 30-second timer between batters. If a pitcher fails to throw a pitch in time, it is an automatic ball.

How many hours a week do Minor League Baseball players work? ›

The "Save America's Pastime Act" was introduced in the House on June 24 and it would amend existing labor law to explicitly say 7,500 minor league players are not entitled to either minimum wage guarantees or overtime pay, even though most are working 60 to 70 hours a week.

Can you bring water into Gillette Stadium? ›

Outside food and drink is banned from Gillette Stadium.

Can you wear a fanny pack to a baseball game? ›

Prohibited bags include but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, and fanny packs that are not clear and/or exceed the size restriction; luggage of any kind; computer bags/cases; camera bags/cases; binocular bags/cases or any bag larger than the permissible size.

Do you have to pay to park at IronPigs game? ›

Guests may park at Coca-Cola Park for just $5 per vehicle and the fee is payable by credit card. Cash is not accepted. Prepaid parking options are available and passes can be purchased at the Coca-Cola Park ticket windows during regular business hours.

What can you bring into the IronPigs game? ›

As fans enter the park the IronPigs will be enforcing social distancing guidelines. There will be stanchions to separate and social distance each entrance. For fans who wish to bring bags into Coca-Cola Park, the bag must be clear. Exceptions will be made for medical and diaper bags.

How long does an IronPigs game last? ›

The average time of a nine-inning game in the minor leagues dropped from 2 hours, 49 minutes in 2014 to 2:43 the following year. It rose to 2:45 in 2016 and 2:29 last year.


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