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Worthwhile Opportunities

Jon Paul Morosi -Premium Content

The Tigers invited two of their 2007 draft picks to big league camp this spring. One was Rick Porcello, the prized pitching prospect who signed a $7 million major league contract as a first-round pick. The other was Danny Worth, whose steady play at shortstop has enabled him to rise quickly through Detroit's farm system.

Majors | #2008#Detroit Tigers#Organization Reports

Waring Them Out

Marc Katz -Premium Content

Ten days into the new season, Dayton Dragons teammates Todd Frazier and Brandon Waring were not just hitting opponents, they were clobbering them. Frazier, the shortstop out of Rutgers in his home state of New Jersey, failed to get a hit in one official at-bat in the opener, then connected in eight straight games to lift his batting average to .394. At one point, he was hitting .476.

Minors | #2008#Classification Reports#Low Class A

Abreu-Like

Jack Magruder -Premium Content

It did not take long for sweet-swinging outfielder Gerardo Parra to draw comparisons to a more prominent Venezuelan countryman in spring training. In his first major league camp since being added to the 40-man roster this winter, Parra opened eyes immediately by getting six hits in his first six spring training at-bats.

Majors | #2008#Arizona Diamondbacks#Organization Reports

Count On Clete

Jon Paul Morosi -Premium Content

At first, outfielder Clete Thomas was expected to start the season at Triple-A Toledo. Then an injury to center fielder Curtis Granderson at the end of spring training opened the competition for Detroit's final roster spot—which Thomas won. Ultimately, his role became even greater than anticipated.

Majors | #2008#Detroit Tigers#Organization Reports

Swapping Trades

Alan Eskew -Premium Content

Damaso Espino did not take kindly to the news in 2005 that the Royals were switching him to catcher. "I was mad. I was sad," Espino said. "I was thinking a lot of bad things. I was surprised. I was in high-A, playing third base every day. All of a sudden, they told me the news." Espino sings a different song now.

Majors | #2008#Kansas City Royals#Organization Reports

Short Detour

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

There were a lot of things Justin Ruggiano could have thought when he was surprisingly sent back to minor league camp early in spring training. But Ruggiano, who'd played seven games for the Rays after an unexpected September callup and looked to be a contender for the fifth outfielder spot this spring, took it this way:

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Tampa Bay Rays

That Special Something

Evan Grant -Premium Content

It takes something to make grizzled Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor smile. Whatever it is, Derek Holland has it. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefthander, one of the last draft-and-follows signed before the new signing deadline went into effect last year, has quickly made an impression on Connor and the entire Rangers organization.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Texas Rangers