The minor league baseball season is over. The regular season in the big leagues ends on Sunday. Monday night will be the first day of games in the Arizona Fall League.

While the Arizona Fall League gets started first, they are not the only fall/winter league going. There are five winter and fall leagues that stand out above the rest. The Arizona Fall League is a prospect league, and while there are some international players who wind up there, it’s mostly made up of American-born players because most internationally-born players have a fall/winter league in their home country that they can participate in.

The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Puerto Rico all have their own winter leagues. The level of play in each is quite high and there are big leaguers who play in all of those leagues, but there are plenty of minor league players who also get into those games. Those four leagues all send their champion to the Caribbean Series – which will take place in Miami at LoanDepot Park this year. They’ll be joined by the champion from the Panamanian, Nicaraguan, and Curacao leagues. Cuba, who usually participates, will not be doing so this year.

The Mexican Winter League gets started on October 13th. That’s six days before the Dominican Winter League gets going on October 19th. Two days later the guys in Venezuela get going on October 21st.

The wait for the next league to start up will have you waiting until November 3rd when the leagues in both Puerto Rico and Nicaragua get started. Two weeks after that it’s the final league start when things get going down under in Australia on November 17th.

Tracking down information for when the leagues in Panama and Curacao begin was unsuccessful. Several of the teams in the Panamanian League in recent years no longer have websites.

We already know which players will be heading to the Arizona Fall League next week. We also know that Jose Barrero will be playing in the Dominican Winter League with Estrellas. Beyond that, we don’t know who will be playing where. The rosters in many of these leagues change – sometimes almost daily. Early in the season there will be more minor leaguers, particularly lower level guys, before some more established players from the upper minors and even big leagues start to show up.

The Dominican Winter League seems to provide more detailed coverage than anywhere else, and you can watch all of the games through MLB.tv this winter as they happen (in the past there has been no archived games – only live broadcasts). Both Yerlin Confidan and Ariel Almonte are in pre-season camp with Licey. Carlos Jorge and Victor Acosta are both in pre-season camp with Cibao. Hector Rodriguez is already in camp with Escogido. Being in camp doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll make the roster or show up in games. There is a “minor league” for the Dominican Winter League where some of the younger guys will play if they don’t get added to the roster to start the year.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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8 Responses

  1. MK

    Columbia has a winter league too. Vellojin was the star there last winter.

    • Doug Gray

      MLB really needs to do a better job of including these leagues. They are approved by MLB, teams have to get permission to use affiliated players, etc – and they pretty much don’t acknowledge any league besides the AFL and LIDOM (Dominican Winter League).

      Even on the backend, have to be MLB approved back-end special stats pages in the winter league section they only include scoreboards for *some* of the winter leagues.

      I’ll get to trying to track down more info on the Colombian Winter League, which I knew existed and had a big ole brain fart on.

      • Doug Gray

        The Colombian baseball league’s official website no longer exists. Neither do several of the teams in the league’s websites exist.

        A domain name is like $10-25 a year…..