Skill Evaluations for the AA, AAA and Major Leagues
How does DHYS separate players into the American League (AL) and National League (NL) for the AA, AAA and Major Leagues? (The Rookie League is not divided into AL and NL.)
First, we group 2 "baseball" ages together. See the Age Charts to determine what age group a player is in.
- 5U & 6U comprise the Rookie League
- 7U & 8U comprise the AA League
- 9U & 10U comprise the AAA League
- 11U & 12U comprise the Major League.
Next, we evaluate all the players in a League to determine their skill levels. The skills that are usually evaluated are: running, infield fielding, outfield fielding, throwing, hitting and pitching. Sometimes the catcher position is evaluated. The scores are tallied and a total evaluation score is generated for each player.
Approximately the top 60% of the players, based upon total evaluation scores, are eligible to be drafted onto a National League team. This allows us to group like-skilled players and facilitates coaching. It is easier to coach and allows for a better learning experience when the players all need to learn and practice similar skills. We’ve found that this seems to work well for most, but not all, players. Unfortunately, we haven't yet found a system that is satisfactory to 100% of our players and their families. Especially for younger and less experienced players, there is a safety issue to consider. A much bigger, stronger player may hit or throw the ball extremely hard to a lesser skilled player, resulting in an injury. Safety is paramount and we must try to avoid these situations.
After the Evaluations are completed, we hold the NL draft. One of the main purposes of our draft is to balance the teams in a league, so that there is no single dominant team, nor is there a clearly least skilled team. Without going into all the details, the draft order proceeds as follows: If the total for the evaluation score of your team's players drafted up to this point is the lowest of all the teams, you draft first in the next round. If it is the highest, you draft last in the next round. This tends to even the teams out.
Notwithstanding this, some team managers pick for reasons other than the best player available. They may need a player with a different skill set (e.g., they need a shortstop, not an outfielder); they may honor a teammate request; they may honor a practice night request; and so forth. This means that a player may be in the top 60%, but may not be drafted onto an NL team.
Consequently, the teams will never be perfectly balanced and any game's results can be unexpected. Our hope and goal is that, in the end, each team is hovering around .500 - perhaps slightly above or slightly below.
If the player is not drafted for an NL team, then the player will be drafted for an AL team. The AL draft always occurs after the NL draft.
NOTE: Under certain circumstances, we allow players to play “up” (with older players) or play “down” (with younger players), based upon their skill set or other factors. Playing “up” or “down” is uncommon, especially playing “up”.