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Building A Winner

Josh Leventhal -Premium Content

Kurt Landes can't wait to see the IronPigs hit a home run. The general manager of the International League's newest franchise, which makes its home debut on April 11 in Lehigh Valley, was not so anxious about the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate putting runs on the board, but rather how the scoreboard will respond to the team scoring runs. One of the many over-the-top amenities at Coca-Cola Park is a nine-story tall scoreboard in left-center field with a giant neon Coke bottle hanging from its top.

Minors | #2008#Season Preview

Ahead Of His Time

Adam Rubin -Premium Content

As Fernando Martinez lined baseballs to the opposite field and tossed rifle throws from right field to third base and home plate during a spring-training tryout in 2005, the Dominican teenager sensed the Mets would be the organization that ultimately would sign him.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Nice Catch

George King -Premium Content

Austin Jackson's first taste of celebrity came in his first big league spring training game when, after making a running catch, Reggie Jackson compared his defensive skills to Devon White and Gary Pettis, two of the best center fielders of the previous generation.

Majors | #2008#New York Yankees#Organization Reports

Twins’ Insistence Pays Off

John Millea -Premium Content

The Twins were adamant about one thing: righthander Deolis Guerra had to be part of any deal with the Mets for Johan Santana. It's easy to see why. New York's erstwhile top pitching prospect stands 6-foot-5, weighs 200 pounds and already has two years of pro experience even though he won't be 19 until the season's second week.

Majors | #2008#Minnesota Twins#Organization Reports

In The Spotlight

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

With blond hair and a slight 6-foot, 160-pound frame, Elliot Johnson doesn't look like a villain. But after a home-plate collision with Yankees catching prospect Francisco Cervelli in a March 8 spring training game, Johnson was being vilified on the back pages of all three New York tabloids and blasted by Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Rays

End Of The Line

Evan Grant -Premium Content

The Rangers may be within weeks of giving up their four-year fight to get righthanders Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando into the United States. On a recent visit to the Dominican Republic, general manager Jon Daniels informed the duo that the club's legal attempts to get them visas or waivers were basically at a dead-end. Daniels informed Beltre as the pitcher was getting ready for the Caribbean World Series.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Texas Rangers

Passed Adversity

John Perrotto -Premium Content

Andrew McCutchen hasn't encountered much adversity while playing baseball. However, the 21-year-old center fielder had some rough times last season when the Pirates jumped him to Double-A Altoona from low Class A following a spring training in which he was so impressive that some in the front office reportedly pushed for him to be in the major league lineup on Opening Day.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Pittsburgh Pirates