Major league baseball is famous for highly paid ballplayers playing on a national stage and making millions per year. Minor league baseball is a network of professional baseball leagues that play at a level below Major league baseball. While the minor leagues often provide a steppingstone to the major leagues, salaries are much lower to start, for players as well as coaches
A minor league baseball coach is responsible for coaching and guiding the team to play at its best. Coaches schedule and preside over training, practice games and drills designed to improve the players' skills and techniques on the field. The coach may also work with players who require additional training and development of their skills. A coach is also responsible for analyzing opposing teams and players to come up with strategies and plays to help ensure a win for his team.
Most baseball athletes and professional coaches gain experience and training by playing the game, and minor league baseball coaches often have a background in playing or coaching throughout high school or college. Most minor league teams require a coach to have several years of coaching experience as well as a degree in physical education, sports medicine or exercise and sports science, as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salary ranges can differ depending on the size of the league as well as the popularity and success of the minor league baseball team. ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe indicates he earned $15,000 his first year as a minor league pitching coach for the San Diego Padres in 1996. While some minor league coaches can earn much more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the highest-paid coaches in the industry earned just over $62,000 in 2008, while the lowest-paid earned $15,530 or less. In 2008, the median annual salary for coaches was $28,340.
Although the average salary of a minor league baseball coach can be on the low side, it's important to note that for many, coaching is a part-time job. Spring training for baseball season typically begins in February or March, and the baseball season typically lasts about six months, according to The Sports Debates website. Some coaches pick up additional jobs within the league, or they may work another part-time job during the offseason to help supplement their annual salary.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Athletes, Coaches, Umpires, and Related Workers
- ESPN; Salaries Absurd for Minor League Coaches; Rick Sutcliffe; September 1, 2004
- Baseball America; Broshuis, Garrett: Playing for Peanuts
- The Sports Debates; The Baseball Season Length Debate – Baseball Is History, and Baseball Needs a Long Season; October 20, 2009
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