What Is the Average Starting Salary for a Professional Baseball Player?

by Robert Vaux; Updated September 26, 2017
Comparatively few baseball players make millions of dollars.

People tend to think of baseball players as millionaires, and it’s true that Major League Baseball players often command high salaries. However, only a select few get to join the big leagues. Minor league baseball players are also professionals, but they don’t claim nearly as much money. These players often play for the love of the game or in hopes of making the major leagues someday.

Single-A Ball

Single-A is the lowest league in the professional baseball system, occupied by very young players or those who still need improvement. Salaries on this level are quite low as well, averaging between $850 and $1,050 a month, according to the Kidzworld website. Such salaries mean that players may have to take day jobs during the off-season or find some other means of making ends meet.

Double-A Ball

Double-A (or AA) ballplayers often play in medium-sized cities and enjoy a somewhat higher salary than Single-A players. These player usually have ambitions of moving up the ranks and eventually joining a Major League team. Salaries average between $25,000 and $45,000 a year, according to PayScale. Kidzworld lists salaries as slightly lower: about $1,500 a month.

Triple-A Ball

Triple-A (or AAA) ballplayers stand one step down from the major leagues. Triple-A teams often consist of ballplayers waiting to get called up to the majors; Major League teams consist of 40 players, 15 of whom can't suit up on game day. Those players usually play in Triple-A leagues. Salaries average $2,150 a month, according to Kidzworld, or between $40,000 and $62,000 a year, according to PayScale.

Major League Ball

Major League Baseball players enjoy very high salaries to match the skills required to reach such an elite level. According to the Baseball Almanac website, the minimum annual salary for a Major League Baseball player is $400,000 a year, with an average annual salary of more than $3,000,000 a year, as of 2010. Those figures have risen steadily for many years and look to continue doing so in the future.

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