By Joshua Huff, sports editor
For minor league prospects, the journey to the big leagues is a foolhardy effort at best with an estimated 10% earning the honor of hearing their name called to be sent up.
On Thursday, that journey for many came to a grinding halt following the news from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that hundreds of minor leaguers were cut with many more expected. In fact, Passan wrote that as many as 1,000 players could be cut when all is said and done.
“The cuts en masse, which could wind up numbering more than 1,000, nevertheless reverberated around the game, sources said,” Passan wrote. “Released players expressed fear that their careers would be over, and those whose teams hadn’t yet made cuts prepared for a tenuous next few days, sources said.”
Most organizations are expected to cut around 30 and 50 players.
Those that were cut were expected to have been released following spring training, but the continued cuts has sent concern surging through a minor league organization that has already suffered greatly from the coronavirus pandemic, the MLB’s planned elimination of about a quarter of minor league teams before the 2021 season and a shortened amateur draft.
The news comes as a blow for many players drafted in the mid-to-late rounds of the MLB Draft. An already difficult feat has now become nigh impossible as the MLB looks to rein in its amateur league, which will end the dreams of thousands of players formally riding highs from just being drafted.
There has been no word on who has been cut, but several local players reside in the minors: former Springville High School star Casey Mize and Hewitt-Trussville’s Tyler Tolbert, among others.
Mize, who was the No. 1 overall pick on 2018, is unquestionably safe, but Tolbert, who was drafted in Round 13, has a fight in front of him to realize his dream of playing in the bigs.