Venezuelan Summer League

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Venezuelan Summer League
Venezuelan Summer League (logo).gif
SportBaseball
Founded1997
Ceased2015
No. of teams
  • First season: 6
  • Maximum: 10
  • Final season: 4
CountryVenezuela
Last
champion(s)
VSL Tigers (2015)

The Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) was a professional baseball sports league that operated in Venezuela from 1997 to 2015, primarily in the state of Carabobo. Teams in the league served as academies for Major League Baseball (MLB) organizations, and were classified at the Rookie League level within Minor League Baseball.

History[edit]

The VSL was created in 1997 as an alternative to the Dominican Summer League (DSL) to improve the development of young prospects from Venezuela in their early years in organized baseball. Besides Carabobo, the states of Aragua, Lara and Yaracuy were represented in the league.

Each team had a roster limit of 35 active players, at least 10 of which had to be pitchers. No player on the active list could have more than four years of minor league service. There were no age limits. The league was closed to all MLB Draft eligible players; that is, players from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Exceptions were made for two players from Puerto Rico.[citation needed] In addition to Venezuela, players in the league came from Argentina, Colombia, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Sint Maarten.

The regular season champion and runner-up played a best-of-three-games playoff series for the league championship.

The league had six squads in its first season, 1997, via three teams fielding split-squads.[1] By 1999, the league had grown to 10 individual teams, and had nine teams as late as 2007.[1] The league reduced to four teams in 2012, played the next two seasons with five teams,[1] and was again reduced to four teams in 2015.[2] Political instability in the region led to more teams opting out before the 2016 season, resulting in the league shutting down.[2][3][4]

Teams[edit]

1997–2004[edit]

Teams during this period were named for the city they operated in.

Single-squad teams[edit]

Team City MLB Affiliation Year(s)
VSL Aguirre[5] Aguirre, Carabobo
  • 2001
  • 2002–2004
VSL Cabudare[6] Cabudare, Lara
  • 1999, 2001
  • 2000
  • 2002
VSL Cagua[7] Cagua, Aragua
  • 1999
  • 2000–2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
VSL Carora[8] Carora, Lara St. Louis Cardinals & Toronto Blue Jays 2001–2002
VSL Chino Canónico[9] Barquisimeto, Lara 1999
2000
VSL Chivacoa[10] Chivacoa, Yaracuy
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001–2002
  • 2003
VSL Ciudad Alianza[11] Los Guayos, Carabobo
  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2004
VSL Cocorote[12] Cocorote, Yaracuy Florida Marlins & Toronto Blue Jays 2003
VSL La Pradera[13] La Pradera, Mérida
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
VSL La Victoria[14] La Victoria, Aragua 1999
2000
VSL Mariara[15] Mariara, Carabobo 2001
2002–2003
VSL Miranda[16] Miranda, Carabobo Tampa Bay Devil Rays & Arizona Diamondbacks & Chicago White Sox 1998
VSL Montalbán[17] Montalbán, Carabobo Pittsburgh Pirates & Colorado Rockies & Minnesota Twins 1998
VSL Puerto Cabello[18] Puerto Cabello, Carabobo Chicago Cubs & Colorado Rockies 2002
VSL San Felipe[19] San Felipe, Yaracuy 1999–2000
2001–2003
VSL San Joaquín[20] San Joaquín, Carabobo
  • 1999
  • 2000–2001
  • 2002
  • 2004
VSL Venoco[21] Guacara, Carabobo 2000
2001–2003
VSL Universidad de Carabobo[22] Maracay, Aragua
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001–2002
  • 2004
VSL Yaritagua[23] Yaritagua, Yaracuy Baltimore Orioles 2003

Source:[1]

Split-squad teams[edit]

These clubs operated as split-squads, fielding two teams denoted by numbers (e.g. VSL Venoco 1 and VSL Venoco 2).

Team City MLB Affiliation Year(s)
VSL Guacara 1&2 Guacara, Carabobo Milwaukee Brewers
San Francisco Giants
Florida Marlins
1997–1998
VSL Maracay 1&2 Maracay, Aragua unknown 1997
VSL San Joaquín 1&2 San Joaquín, Carabobo Los Angeles Dodgers
Houston Astros
Montreal Expos
1997–1998
VSL Tronconero 1&2 Tronconero, Carabobo Minnesota Twins
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
San Diego Padres
2003–2004
VSL Venoco 1&2 Guacara, Carabobo Houston Astros
Baltimore Orioles
2004

Source:[1]

2005–2015[edit]

Teams during this period were named for their affiliated MLB team(s).

Single-affiliate teams[edit]

Team MLB Affiliation City Year(s)
VSL Astros Houston Astros Guacara, Carabobo 2005–2008
VSL Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals San Joaquín, Carabobo 2005–2010
VSL Cubs Chicago Cubs Los Guayos, Carabobo 2013–2015
VSL Mariners Seattle Mariners Aguirre, Carabobo 2005–2014
VSL Mets New York Mets Tronconero, Carabobo 2005–2009
VSL Orioles Baltimore Orioles Guacara, Carabobo 2005
VSL Phillies Philadelphia Phillies Tronconero, Carabobo 2005–2015
VSL Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates San Joaquín, Carabobo 2005–2011
VSL Rays Tampa Bay Rays Guacara, Carabobo 2008–2015
VSL Reds Cincinnati Reds Cagua, Aragua 2005–2006, 2010–2011
VSL Tigers Detroit Tigers Los Guayos, Carabobo 2007–2015

Source:[1]

Cooperative teams[edit]

Note that cooperative teams are linked to their respective teams (e.g. VSL Cubs/Twins links to VSL Cubs and VSL Twins).

Team MLB Affiliation City Year(s)
VSL Cubs/Twins Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins
Maracay, Aragua 2007
VSL Devil Rays/Reds Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Cincinnati Reds
Guacara, Carabobo 2007
VSL Marlins/Nationals Florida Marlins
Washington Nationals
Maracay, Aragua 2005
VSL Orioles/White Sox Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox
Guacara, Carabobo 2006
VSL Red Sox/Padres Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres
Los Guayos, Carabobo 2005
VSL Tigers/Marlins Detroit Tigers
Florida Marlins
Los Guayos, Carabobo 2006
VSL Twins/Blue Jays Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays
Maracay, Aragua 2006

Source:[1]

League champions[edit]

  • 1997 – VSL Maracay 2
  • 1998 – VSL Guacara 1
  • 1999 – VSL Chino Canónico
  • 2000 – VSL San Felipe
  • 2001 – VSL Venoco
  • 2002 – VSL Aguirre
  • 2003 – VSL San Felipe
  • 2004 – VSL Tronconero 2
  • 2005 – VSL Astros
  • 2006 – VSL Phillies
  • 2007 – VSL Astros
  • 2008 – VSL Pirates
  • 2009 – VSL Rays
  • 2010 – VSL Pirates
  • 2011 – VSL Rays
  • 2012 – VSL Phillies
  • 2013 – VSL Mariners
  • 2014 – VSL Tigers
  • 2015 – VSL Tigers

Source:[24]

MLB alumni[edit]

VSL players who have gone on to make MLB appearances include:

Note: team affiliations reflect a player's organization while in the VSL; the player may have reached MLB with a different franchise.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Venezuelan Summer League (Foreign Rookie) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved March 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Wild, Danny (January 21, 2016). "Venezuelan Summer League closes doors". MiLB.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016 – via Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Badler, Ben (January 21, 2016). "Venezuelan Summer League Shuts Down". Baseball America. Archived from the original on January 31, 2016 – via Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ McCosky, Chris (January 24, 2016). "Tigers bow out of Venezuelan Summer League". The Detroit News.
  5. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Aguirre_(VSL)
  6. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Cabudare_(VSL)
  7. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Cagua_(VSL)
  8. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Carora_(VSL)
  9. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Chino_Canonico_(VSL)
  10. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Chivacoa_(VSL)
  11. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Ciudad_Alianza_(VSL)
  12. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Cocorote_(VSL)
  13. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/La_Pradera_(VSL)
  14. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/La_Victoria_(VSL)
  15. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Mariara_(VSL)
  16. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Miranda_(VSL)
  17. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Montalban_(VSL)
  18. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Puerto_Cabello_(VSL)
  19. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/San_Felipe_(VSL)
  20. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/San_Joaquin_(VSL)
  21. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Venoco_(VSL)
  22. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Universidad_de_Carabobo_(VSL)
  23. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Yaritagua_(VSL)
  24. ^ Dystra, Sam (October 16, 2014). "VSL playoffs review: Tigers capture title". MiLB.com. Archived from the original on October 11, 2015 – via Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]