Rule Change: Rookie League Eligibility


Rookie League players must have less than 4 years of PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TIME to remain eligible to be placed in any of the four rookie league levels.

After the proposal was placed in front of the league, I have received 17 votes of “YES” and 0 votes of “NO” through the voting process. In addition, support on Slack has mirrored this support through messages from additional GM’s.

The following is a list of all players with 4 or more years of Professional Service Time currently on a Rookie Level team. Please take the next week or so to make the necessary changes to your teams. Opening Day for the various leagues is as follows:

Appalachian League: June 20
Arizona League: June 18

Gulf Coast League: June 18
Pioneer League: June 18


There have been some questions regarding the process and how the game will handle it, I will do my best to answer those below:

Why age over professional service time? Is it easy to see service time?

This goes back to a problem of high-school vs. college draftees. We do not want to restrict the likes of older college draftees from not being able to play in the Rookie Leagues. At the same time, compensating for them creates a system where high-school draftees could spend 6-8 years at Rookie League, this is part of what we are trying to correct.

As far as keeping track/seeing how many years of service time a player has. There are three quick approaches to the matter.

  1. It is visible on the right hand side of a player’s profile page on the league reports on the site.
  2. In-game on the player profile page, the “Contract & Status” page lists Professional Service Time.
  3. On any roster page, under the “VIEW” dropdown, you can use customize the page by using the “Financial Info” tab and selecting Pro Yrs.

What will be done if OOTP stops the sim and a decision has to be made about a player?

Unlike other roster violations, this violation does not stop a sim (THANKFULLY! — if it did this would not have been brought up).

How will this affect the talent at the low minor league levels?

I think one thing we all (myself included) forget at times, is that at the end of the day, the majority of minor leaguers league-wide either:

  1. Never reach the MLB level
  2. If they do reach the MLB level, they become average or below average players.

Over time, there will be ebbs and flows of elite talent, either through drafting, international amateurs, or through player development. I think over time we will see a decrease in 70’s and 80’s and see more and more 50’s becoming what they should be, that is serviceable, league average type of players.

High-potential, Grade A prospects should not be lining every position of every team throughout all levels of minor league baseball. Also having said that, forcing promotion after 3 years of service time will create more decisions, which in turn SHOULD create more opportunities for trades at the lower levels for players that one team could value more than another team.

In addition, with the switch to OOTP18, low level minor league levels have had their league totals tested and we SHOULD see a better representation of stats and totals across the leagues.

Why just Rookie Leagues? I would like to see this across several minor league levels?

We have to start somewhere. Let’s see how this goes. For the time being, this is what we saw as the best action. We have other rules in place that we feel already make having the likes of a 10 year professional playing in A- or A level something that is not really benefiting the team at hand.