By Benjamin Chase
While the Atlanta Braves became the first Major League Baseball team to punch a ticket to the postseason on Sunday, multiple minor league levels have already completed the postseason and full-season leagues are getting underway.
The Dominican Summer League playoffs were the only rookie league that lasted into the month of September, with the Dodgers Bautista club defeating the Pirates Gold team two games to one.
The Arizona Complex League wrapped up its postseason on August 27 with the Brewers defeating the D-backs Red squad two games to one, even though the D-backs Red outscored the Brewers 19-9 over the three games.
In the Florida Complex League, the Braves swept the Yankees in two games 3-2 and 9-1 to take home the FCL championship on August 26.
Teams have shifted a number of the players on complex league teams up to other teams that are still in the postseason hunt if the player in question has additional plate appearances or innings that the team would like to get accomplished in 2023.
Most of the full-season leagues will have four teams make the postseason, with a best-of-three semifinal series and then a best-of-three championship series.
In the Florida State League, Palm Beach (Cardinals) and Jupiter (Marlins) will square off in one semifinal while Clearwater (Phillies) will play Lakeland (Tigers) in the other semi.
The Carolina League will see semifinal matchups of Carolina (Brewers) against Delmarva (Orioles) and Myrtle Beach (Cubs and Charleston (Rays).
Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers)/Inland Empire (Angels) and San Jose (Giants)/Midland (A's) will meet in the semifinal matchups in the California League.
Midwest League playoffs begin with Cedar Rapids (Twins) playing Peoria (Cardinals) squaring off on one side of the bracket and Great Lakes (Dodgers) will meet with Fort Wayne (Padres) on the other side of the break.
In the South Atlantic League, Greenville (Red Sox) meets with Hickory (Rangers) in one semifinal. Hudson Valley (Yankees) will play Jersey Shore (Phillies) in the other semifinal.
The Northwest League is the one full-season league with a different setup. Because there are only six teams in the league, a best-of-five championship is the only postseason action. Vancouver (Blue Jays) and Everett (Mariners) will meet for the championship series, beginning Tuesday.
The Double-A playoffs will start on September 19. In the Southern League, Chattanooga (Reds) and Pensacola (Marlins) have clinched playoff spots, with Tennessee (Cubs) comfortably in position for one of the two remaining spots and Montgomery (Rays) and Biloxi (Brewers) battling for the final spot.
Three of the four Eastern League playoff teams have clinched their spots, with Somerset (Yankees), Binghamton (Mets), and Erie (Tigers) all locked in. Richmond (Giants) is currently holding onto the last playoff spot, with Bowie (Orioles) challenging for that spot.
In the Texas League, San Antonio (Padres) and Arkansas (Mariners) are both in the playoffs due to first-half record, but both are under .500 in the second half. Amarillo (Diamondbacks) is in an excellent position for one of the second-half spots, but the second spot is close among Springfield (Cardinals), Wichita (Twins), and Northwest Arkansas (Royals).
The Triple-A playoffs will begin on September 26. Each of the two Triple-A leagues will hold a three-game series between the winner of the first half and the winner of the second half. The two winners of the league championships will meet on September 30 in Las Vegas for the Triple-A National Championship Game.
In the International League, Norfolk (Orioles) took the first-half title. Durham (Rays) currently leads multiple teams that are close to the second-half title, leading Lehigh Valley (Phillies), Buffalo (Blue Jays), and St. Paul (Twins).
Oklahoma City (Dodgers) won the Pacific Coast League first-half title. They will match up with the second-half winner, right now being led by Round Rock (Rangers) over Las Vegas (A's), Reno (Diamondbacks), and Tacoma (Mariners).
September is certainly fun to follow the chase to the MLB playoffs, but take a moment to watch some of the postseason action in the minors as well!
Benjamin Chase is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in rural South Dakota. He has a tremendous love for baseball, working as a co-editor with Here's the Pitch, writing for Rotoballer, and co-hosting the Pallazzo Podcasts prospects show each week. He can be found on Twitter/X under @biggentleben.