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UnACCeptable

John Manuel -Premium Content

The Atlantic Coast Conference ain't what it used to be. The league expanded this decade in two stages, from a nine-team league to a 12-team super-conference. Football drove the expansion, of course, as Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech joined the league. Since then, Wake Forest—one of the smallest Division I football programs in the country—has played in the Bowl Championship Series, while Miami and Florida State (added in 1992) have slipped from national powers to mediocrity.

College | #2008#Column

On The Move

Will Lingo -Premium Content

We recently celebrated another anniversary here at Baseball America. Now usually you just mark the big ones, like the 20th and 25th in issues of recent years, but the odd-numbered ones are no less important. For 27 years we've been doing exactly what founding editor Allan Simpson set out to do in the fall of 1980, when he decided he wanted to start a baseball publication that covered the game with a depth that no one had ever attempted. We always cite the de-emphasis of baseball at The Sporting News as an important factor in our birth—and it was—but the fact is that Allan's original vision outstripped TSN's coverage of baseball even at its most comprehensive

Minors | #2008#Column

Upping The Ante

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

This July, it counts. Usually independent league all-star games are rather tepid affairs, most notable for bringing most of the league's best players together as a one-stop shop for affiliated baseball scouts. But league bragging rights will be in play on July 15 when the United League's all-stars play host to the Golden League's best at San Angelo's ballpark.

Minors | #2008#Independent Audit

Needles In The Haystack

J.J. Cooper -

Feel like playing the odds? You can go put a dollar down on a Powerball ticket, or you can try to make the jump from independent baseball to the major leagues. There may be nothing more inspiring than Chris Coste's story. Undrafted out of college as a third baseman, he went to the Northern League, where Fargo-Moorhead manager Doug Simunic helped make him a catcher. After five years in independent ball, he made it to affiliated ball. After six more years in the minor leagues, he got the call to Philadelphia, where he's now in his third year as a catcher for the Phillies. He carries a career average of .314 in 363 major league at-bats, so it's clear that he's a case of a true talent who had been overlooked. It's a great story, but it's also about as rare as a big league knuckleballer.

Minors | #2008#Independent Audit

Decker Decks Pitchers

Nathan Rode -Premium Content

With the draft just around the corner, news and information on the top prospects isn't hard to find. Guys like Pedro Alvarez, Brian Matusz and Eric Hosmer will be all over headlines and covers until they're picked. There are plenty of guys flying under the radar, however, that could be marquee picks in the early rounds of the draft on June 5. Outfielder Jaff Decker has simply dominated his competition in Peoria, Ariz., while righthander Tyler Sample has bounced back from Tommy John surgery to be a legitimate option coming out of Colorado.

High School | #2008#High Heat

Two Sports, One Choice

Matt Blood -Premium Content

Quarterback in the NFL or shortstop in the major leagues—dream question right? "I think I could play either," was the answer from Florida prep baseball and football standout Casey Kelly. The thing is, he might be right.

Draft | #2008#Draft Dish

Time For A Re-Do

Jim Callis -Premium Content

No club has anything less than unwavering support for its 2007 first-round pick. Yet if that draft were being held 11 months later, the top 10 choices would look radically different than they did last June. David Price clearly established himself as the best prospect in the 2007 draft—lefthanders with a plus-plus fastball/slider combination and outstanding feel and command tend to do that—and the Rays locked in on him early as the No. 1 overall pick. But as easy as that decision was at the time, he wouldn't go first if the draft was restaged.

Minors | #2008#Column

Shreve: This Time, It’s TJ

John Manuel -

There have been twists and turns with Colby Shreve, the CC of Southern Nevada righthander who entered the year as the top junior-college pitcher in the country. The unsigned eighth-round […]

Draft

Coaching Carousel Starts Back Up

Aaron Fitt -

Just a week after Arkansas-Little Rock coach Jim Lawler–Baseball America’s 2003 assistant coach of the year while at Texas A&M–announced he will resign at the end of the season, another […]

College

Yankees Lefthander Reyes Suspended

Matt Eddy -

Yankees lefthander Angel Reyes received a 50-game suspension for testing positive for stanozolol metabolites, a performance-enhancing substance. Reyes, 21, did not make an Opening Day roster, so his suspension will […]

Minors | #Daily Dish

Mr. Intensity

Aaron Fitt -Premium Content

When it comes to being tough, Chuck Norris has nothing on Conor Gillaspie, the reigning Cape Cod League MVP, preseason All-American and Wichita State's top player. As Gillaspie is quick to point out, growing up in the upper Midwest isn't like growing up in a warm-weather baseball hotbed down South or on one of the coasts. Before he became a standout third baseman for Wichita State, Gillaspie starred for Omaha's Millard North High, which went 35-0 his senior year and won the Nebraska state championship.

College | #2008#On Campus