This Author

Business Beat

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

Deadlines came and went, but in the end the opportunity to place a team in Skylands Park was enough of a prize to the Can-Am League to be worth shuffling their schedule. The league added a Sussex County team, which hasn't been named yet, in early January. A week later, the Elmira Pioneers, who finished last in the league in attendance in 2005 (1,207 fans a game), shut down for 2006, handing their schedule over to the new team.

Minors | #2006#Business Beat

Prospect Pulse: Rule 5 Draft Wrapup

Chris Kline -Premium Content

For as humdrum as the Rule 5 draft was this year, there were a few interesting players who now find themselves under the pressure of staying on the big league roster all season. Only 12 players were chosen in the major league phase, with the Marlins taking advantage to further add pieces to their rebuilding process.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Pulse

Prospect Pulse: Denorfia Makes Most Of Opportunities

Chris Kline -Premium Content

Wheaton College is hardly a baseball factory. The former all-women's school only went co-ed 16 years ago, didn't field a varsity baseball team until 1998 and is presently a Division III program competing in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference. Yet the minute Chris Denorfia set foot on this bucolic campus located in the woods of Norton, Mass., he never doubted he could make his major league dreams come true.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Pulse

Prospect Pulse: A’s Bring Pitching Talent To Kane County

Kevin Goldstein -Premium Content

The Kane County Cougars have established a long track record of success both on and off the field since their debut in 1991. With Elfstrom Stadium being located in the western suburbs of Chicago, less than 45 miles from the homes of both the Cubs and White Sox, the Cougars have been one of the better success stories in the low Class A Midwest League, drawing more than 500,000 paying customers in each of the last five years.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Pulse

Prospect Pulse: Ranking By Positions

John Manuel -Premium Content

While we rank a lot of things, what we're known best for ranking is minor league players. With our Top 10 Prospects completed on the web, and with our Prospect Handbook already out (its earliest release date ever), our Top 100 Prospects rankings can't be far behind. To help sate the need for rankings, here's my take at the top prospects broken down by position, after digesting the work of our staff and correspondents in the Handbook. The deeper the position, the more players I ranked.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Pulse

2005 Early Draft Preview: Overview

Jim Callis -Premium Content

According to scouting directors, the 2005 draft class doesn't need a boost from Townsend's presence. By all accounts, it's a deep class that scouts are looking forward to sifting through, even if they aren't looking forward to paying the players at the top the multimillion-dollar, major league contracts that Justin Verlander, Humber and Niemann received as the second, third and fourth selections in 2004.

Draft | #2005#Early Draft Preview

Mixed Results Cloud Johnson’s Draft Stock

Alan Matthews -Premium Content

For seniors hopeful of being drafted in June, the months leading up to their final high school season can crawl by agonizingly slow. But few in this year's class have awaited Opening Day as eagerly as Cody Johnson. Though Johnson, a laid-back, unassuming 6-foot-5 slugger from the Florida panhandle, rarely feels restless, the start of his senior season represents a fresh start and it couldn't come a moment too soon.

Draft | #2006#Early Draft Preview

The 31st Team, 2006 Edition

Premium Content

This year's edition of the Prospect Handbook contained a record 902 scouting reports—we crammed 2005 first-round picks Justin Upton and Mike Pelfrey into the appendix after they signed late—but there still were plenty more where those came from. Every year, a few reports end up on the cutting-room floor. Players get bumped out of the book for a variety of reasons, such as trades or injuries. Then there's a case like the Marlins, who spent the offseason trading veterans for prospects, leading us to revise their top 30 list several times. Below are 42 players, listed alphabetically, who were in the Handbook at one point but didn't make the final cut. We like to call them "The 31st Team."

Minors | #2006#Column

Juco Jamboree: Top 25 Prospects

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

Here's how Baseball America's Allan Simpson sees the nation's top 25 junior college prospects for the 2006 draft. For players that were drafted in 2005 and remain under control, the team that drafted them (and the round) is noted. Such players will be eligible to sign after their 2006 season is complete until the closed period—a week before the draft. They will re-enter this year's draft if they don't sign.

Draft | #2005#Early Draft Preview

AL East Organization Reports

Premium Content

he Orioles gave a full critique of their minor league system prior to the winter meetings and decided that minimal changes were necessary. The managers from their top five affiliates will return in 2006, though the organization still hasn't named the two coaches at Class A Frederick. Dave Trembley remains as manager at Triple-A Ottawa, Don Werner at Double-A Bowie, Bien Figueroa at Frederick, Gary Kendall at Class A Delmarva and Andy Etchebarren at Class A short season Aberdeen.

Majors | #2006#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports