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2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Wisconsin

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Wisconsin had a second-round pick in high school righthander Erik Cordier last year, but that's more the exception than the rule. The state's largest school, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, doesn't play baseball, so NCAA Division III powerhouse Wisconsin-Whitewater has become the state's preeminent college program. Whitewater's pair of aces, Greg Reinhard and Kevin Tomasiewicz, are its best prospects this year, and beyond them the state will have few draft picks.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Ortiz, Beltre Hope Dominican Overpower Venezuela

Matt Meyers -

David Ortiz made himself a legend in Boston with his October performance, but he is adding to his legacy in March as well. The Dominican slugger put his stamp on the Pool D opener of the World Baseball Classic with a solo home run in the top of the first off of Venezuelan ace Johan Santana. He then sealed it with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth off of Carlos Hernandez, a lefthander brought in to face one hitter—Ortiz.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Oklahoma

Jim Callis -Premium Content

C.J. Henry is one of the draft's finest athletes and is considered reasonably signable despite having the basketball talent to play at major college programs. Bryant Beaver is another top athlete, though makeup concerns make it unlikely he'll even get drafted. The state's best college programs—Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts—are all slightly down this year in terms of performance and draftable talent.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Spring Training Dish: Mets Camp

Chris Kline -

Farm director Adam Wogan has only been on the job for a few months since coming over from the Nationals, but thanks to assistant to the GM Tony Bernazard, field coordinator Tony Tijerina and the rest of the field staff, Mets camp is running like a well-oiled machine. And that makes getting Wogan acclimated that much easier. BA sat down with Wogan and Bernazard to talk about the state of the system, how much developing players has changed since general manager Omar Minaya took over and a pair of outfielders that take a back seat to Milledge—for now.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

U.S. Comeback Falls Short Against Canada

Alan Schwarz -

Make no mistake, Chase Utley posed. When the Team USA second baseman launched a shot deep into the Phoenix evening, he joined the rest of Chase Field in assuming that his imminent three-run home run would complete a stunning comeback and save Team USA from one of the most shocking upsets in international baseball history. Utley flipped his bat and began his trot, figuring that the world had regained its order.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Spring Training Dish: Dodgers Camp

Chris Kline -

We had the opportunity to sit down with Dodgers vice president of scouting and player development Roy Smith, who just returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic with the rest of the Dodger brass, to talk about how much the organization's development philosophy has changed since he came over to the club in 2004 after six seasons as assistant general manager of the Pirates; the sudden depth of outfielders in the system and the state of international scouting—an area in which the organization has lacked in recent years since the departure of international scouting director Rene Francisco.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Nebraska

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Nebraska gets a four-star rating almost solely because of the presence of Alex Gordon, the top college hitter in the draft. After him, there's no one close to a significant position player available. The state's high schools may not yield a single draft pick, so behind Gordon the prospect crop consists mainly of college pitchers.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Wildly Effective, Loewen Kick-Starts Canadian Upset

Alan Schwarz -

After never having pitched above Class A, lefthander Adam Loewen (Orioles) threw 3 2/3 shutout innings to kick-start Canada's 8-6 shocking upset of the United States. On a day when outpitching 22-game winner Dontrelle Willis wasn't saying much—Willis was battered for six hits and five earned runs before getting yanked in the third—Loewen's 91-mph fastball, while not well-commanded, kept the powerful U.S. lineup in check and underscored why he is considered one of the best lefthanded pitching prospects in baseball.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Missouri

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Missouri is one of the nation's underrated producers of baseball talent. It has neither two first-rounders as it did a year ago with high schoolers Scott Elbert and Blake DeWitt, nor the stunning depth of 2003, but it still has plenty to offer. NCAA Division II Central Missouri State alone has five pitchers who could go on the first day of the draft, and the University of Missouri will provide several draft picks after its best season since 1996. Mizzou offers even better things to come because ace Max Scherzer, a sophomore, should be one of the first selections in the 2006 draft.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Spring Training Dish: Nationals Camp

Chris Kline -

We sat down with Nationals farm director Andy Dunn to talk about the state of the system, what the organization is trying to stress among players in camp, the return of lefthander Mike Hinckley and the rumor that Kory Casto was moving off third base in the wake of Ryan Zimmerman's arrival last season.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

Spring Training Dish: Braves Camp

Chris Kline -

We caught up with Braves assistant general manager for baseball operations Dayton Moore, after we reached him on his Blackberry at Disney's Wide World of Sports, which was filled with middle-school cheerleaders preparing for a competition . . . until we made our way past CrackerJack Stadium and onto the back fields at Disney's pristine complex.

Minors | #2006#Daily Dish

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Minnesota

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The Gopher State has produced recent first-round picks in Joe Mauer (2001) and Glen Perkins (2004), but doesn't have that kind of talent this year. While the University of Minnesota usually produces most of the state's draft picks, shortstop Matt Fornasiere is the only Gopher certain to be selected this time around. The state's high schools could get entirely shut out, though righthander Ryan Lindgren probably will go as a draft-and-follow.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview