CBS Sports Network, the cable sports arm of the Tiffany net, aired fifteen minor league games during 2014, their first season doing so. They must have gotten something positive out of it, although maybe not a whole lot. They’re returning to the minor league well again for 2015, but this time for only ten games. Not a ringing endorsement, but it will give them an opportunity to fill vast spaces of air time with something live.
Minor league baseball is a hard sell on its own terms, since it is by definition “minor”. It’s certainly not the best baseball you can see—the best can be easily seen practically every night between early April and late October, as many as 15 games in a single day. But minor league ball is interesting to those people who are very interested in top prospects. It’s an opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow performing in their embryonic stages today.
CBSSN’s schedule acknowledges that fact, as the schedule is heavy on teams with top prospects such as the Chicago Cubs’ AAA (Iowa) and AA (Tennessee) squads, the LA Dodgers’ AA (Tulsa) team, and the Pirates’ AA (Altoona) affiliate, teams that are all stocked with top 20 prospects, according to MLB. Of course, these prospects may or may not still be with these clubs by the time the broadcasts roll around, but the presence of such prospects as of today probably factored into CBSSN’s decision to select these games for broadcast.
Here is the full schedule for the season, subject to change I would assume:
• May 28: El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) at Round Rock Express (Rangers), 8 p.m. EST
• June 4: Salt Lake Bees (Angels) at Nashville Sounds (Athletics), 8 p.m. EST
• June 11: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals) at Tulsa Drillers (Dodgers), 8 p.m. EST
• June 18: Mississippi Braves (Braves) at Tennessee Smokies (Cubs), 7 p.m. EST
• June 25: Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) at Durham Bulls (Rays), 7 p.m. EST
• July 9: Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) at Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals), 8 p.m. EST
• July 16: Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) at Iowa Cubs (Cubs), 8 p.m. EST
• July 23: Altoona Curve (Pirates) at Akron RubberDucks (Indians), 7 p.m. EST
• July 30: Lexington Legends (Royals) at Greenville Drive (Red Sox), 7 p.m. EST
• August 6: El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) at Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 9 p.m. EST