Minor League Baseball announces top 25 teams, record sales in 2019

Minor League Baseball’s 160 affiliated teams sold a record $85.7 million in merchandise during the 2019 calendar year. That number is an increase of almost 17 percent over 2018’s then-record $74 million in sales, which was an increase of four percent over 2017’s then-record $71 million.

Each year, MiLB announces an unranked list of the top-25 teams in merchandise sales. For obvious reasons, the teams from higher classifications typically dominate the list, and 2019 was no exception. Sixteen of the 25 teams are Triple-A, six more are Double-A, one from Class A Advanced, and two Single-A. No teams from the short-season Single-A or rookie levels made the cut.

The Durham Bulls are the only club to appear on the list all 27 years since Minor League Baseball started making it public. The Portland Sea Dogs, Trenton Thunder, and Toledo Mud Hens increased active streaks on the list to 26, 26, and 25 years respectively. And the Amarillo Sod Poodles and Fayetteville Woodpeckers both made the list playing their inaugural seasons with new brands and in new homes.

Also of note, the Pawtucket Red Sox made the list in their last season before moving to Worcester and rebranding as the WooSox for 2021.

Here’s the full list broken down by classification:

Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
Columbus Clippers (Indians)
Durham Bulls (Rays)
El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
Fresno Grizzlies (Nationals)
Las Vegas Aviators (A’s)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
Louisville Bats (Reds)
Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
Pawtucket Red Sox
Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)

Amarillo Sod Poodles (Padres)
Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

Class A Advanced
Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Astros)

Dayton Dragons (Reds)
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers)

This is likely the last time for a while we’ll see these record-breaking numbers. With the 2020 season cancelled and the 2021 season and beyond likely to feature 40 fewer affiliated teams, the overall sales numbers will take a hit.