We’ve all been through a lot these last few years, but sometimes good things still do happen. The wonderful, historic, flavorful names of the minor leagues were replaced in 2021 for generic, bland and boring descriptors. This meant, for example, the International League and the Pacific Coast League became simply Triple-A East and Triple-A West, respectively.
While of course the new names told you immediately what level the league and where the teams were located, these leagues had been around for decades at the youngest and more than a century for the oldest! Yes, the International League in 2020 before the switch was not comparable to the league founded in 1884. Farm teams weren’t even around at that point in the way we imagine them, which is recent in comparison to baseball’s long history.
After just one year, Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball got together and set things right.
- Triple-A East becomes the International League
- Triple-A West becomes the Pacific Coast League
- Double-A Central becomes the Texas League
- Double-A South becomes the Southern League
- Double-A East becomes the Eastern League
- High-A Central becomes the Midwest League
- High-A East becomes the South Atlantic League
- High-A West becomes the Northwest League
- Low-A West becomes the California League
- Low-A East becomes the Carolina League
- Low-A Southeast becomes the Florida State League
Minor league baseball is local. It’s fun. It’s quirky. These leagues deserve more care than the inexplicable 2021 rebranding. The teams that were downsized aren’t back, of course. But those the survived the reduction in minor league play are sorted back to the classics.
The Red Sox affiliates are now:
- Triple-A International League Worcester Red Sox
- Double-A Eastern League Portland Sea Dogs
- High-A South Atlantic League Greenville Drive
- Low-A Carolina League Salem Red Sox
So get ready to follow prospects in the traditional leagues again rather than a path to blandness.