Minor league baseball is set to be a little bit different in 2021 after Major League Baseball announced several changes on Thursday that the various leagues will employ. While not all of the rules will be followed by all of the leagues, there are a few that will be used to see if they end up offering any merit for the big leaguers. Perhaps the most important of them is the requirement that infielders remain on the dirt of the infield, no longer allowed to roam into the grass.
This will be done in Double-A. In a pair of low-A leagues, an automated ball-strike system will be used in some games while the other league will have a 15-second pitch clock for pitchers to answer to. Another Low-A change will see pitchers allowed to take no more than two steps off the rubber per hitter. A third unsuccessful pickoff would result in a free base for the runner. In Triple-A, the bases will be three inches bigger on all sides, freeing up the possibility for more runners to attempt stolen bases. We’ll just have to wait to see how these work and if they can help improve the overall MLB experience or not one of these days.