Mark Appel Profile picture
Feb 15 22 tweets 4 min read
Career minor leaguer here.

My thoughts on minor league baseball’s problems and potential solutions:
First, some caveats:

1. I signed for a lot of money and feel fortunate to not know some of the struggles personally. But I’ve seen them all firsthand.

2. Certain organizations care a lot about this and are TRYING to improve these conditions.
Okay, let’s get to it…

The biggest issue everyone talks about is salary.

Some context:

- Minor league baseball players have to play about 7 seasons before they become free agents.
- Almost none make it 7 years… they are either released or called up before then.

- Even if you make it to AAA, you are probably still making less than $4,000 per month for working 10ish hours per day, 6-7 days per week, 5 months per year.
But I think the salary discussion speaks to the deeper issue: the stress of choosing between performance and survival.

Hear me out...

Baseball is a difficult sport and needs your utmost attention and focus to succeed.

The simpler your life, the better.
The best players are focused solely on one thing: playing baseball and getting better.

This is why players have agents, financial advisors, personal chefs, etc. helping navigate life.

But most minor leaguers can’t afford this, or are forced to make choices that don’t help them.
I think the three biggest decisions players worry about are:

- housing
- food
- off-season training

The goal should be to simplify these decisions and remove the barriers of making good choices.

Here’s how I’d do it:

Players need to find affordable and convenient housing during the season.

Current Options:

1. Short Term Lease
- Pros: cheap
- Cons: hard to find; can’t get out of lease if moved; no utilities/furniture
2. Hotel
- Pros: convenient; no commitments
- Cons: too expensive for most (think $60/night on the cheap end)

In my 6 years, I’ve never been in a minor league city for more than 3.5 months, so I opt for hotels.

But most can’t afford that route.

MiLB/MLB announced that teams must provide housing in 2022. This is a huge win that will save players on average $800/month.

We are still unclear what the provided housing will be, but have hopes that it will remove one of the biggest stressors for players.

Players need to be able to find and afford food with nutritional value for performance.

Current Options:

1. Cook
- Pros: cheaper; ability to control healthy intake
- Cons: takes lots of planning/food prep; can only cook during home series AND IF you have a kitchen
2. Restaurants
- Pros: some healthy options; convenient
- Cons: expensive; nothing good late night

3. Field
- Pros: free to player; sometimes nutritious
- Cons: no control over food quality and nutritional value; often very underwhelming or not enough to perform every night
I firmly believe that teams want to do this well.

Leaving food entirely up to the players is almost impossible because of the daily schedule.

My short answer is that teams should do everything in-house…

Start at every AAA facility across the country. Most of the players there have MLB time.

Build a kitchen at the field, hire two chefs per team, buy fresh ingredients every day, make meals daily.

Cheaper for teams, better for players.

I did napkin math here 👇

Players need training, housing AND food, but nobody is getting paid.

One of my biggest gripes with how MLB organizations run their minor league offseason is their “half-in, half-out” approach.
Strength coaches want to help with training programs, but there is no accountability (because of proximity, not communication).

Skill coaches want players to work on skills and send videos.

But, most have no money to afford good coaching/facilities.
Many workout in the morning and work odd, low paying jobs (Uber, cashiers, etc) in evenings to make their dream work.

Workouts take place in retail gyms like Planet Fitness or 24 Hour.

Throw into a net, hit off a tee, build your own mound.

Players get creative.

Pay players in offseason.



1. Players don’t have to worry about affording the resources they need to be prepared for next season.

2. Raises competition and creates an expectation. If you don’t show up ready, you have no excuse.
At the end of the day, I think MLB teams should have this approach:

“Treat players with professionalism and expect professionalism in return.”

When MiLB players retire because they can’t afford it, even though they have the talent, it’s worse for baseball.
I’m not crazy enough to think that teams haven’t thought of these solutions or tried.

But players want to play baseball AND be healthy. Our lifestyles are unique and require unique solutions.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

Comment below to let me know your thoughts! 👇

Also, share this and give me a follow @markappel26 if you found this interesting (regardless of your opinion!!)
After less than 24 hours of posting, I can see this is a fun and opinionated topic of conversation.

I enjoy reading and responding to people’s thoughts, so keep them coming!

As a reminder, please continue to keep it civil in the comments. Let’s show each other grace!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Mark Appel

Mark Appel Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @markappel26

Sep 17, 2021
In 2013, I was the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft.

5 years later, I was called “the biggest bust in MLB history.”

Today, I’m working my way back, and I’m here to share both the hard-earned lessons I’ve learned along the way🧵👇
Talent Finds a Way. Don’t Worry About Who’s Watching.

I played 2 years of high school varsity as a relief pitcher, pitching only 30 innings.

7 teammates had college commitments before I did.

Through hard work, I finally earned a @stanfordbsb scholarship my senior year.
Tell Someone You Believe in Them. It Goes a Long Way.

During freshman year, a team captain called a player meeting.

Despite my poor play in pre-season, he told me I was one of the best pitchers we had.

He believed in me and for the first time I began to believe in myself.
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!