Baseball America

J.J. Cooper

Landing A Bargain?

J.J. Cooper -

When the Giants drafted Jason Jarvis in the 23rd round of June's draft, it looked like the team was taking a flier on a talented arm, but one surrounded by plenty of question marks. Two months later, the Giants may have gotten a steal.

Minors | #2008#Independent Audit

A Rare Swap

J.J. Cooper -

Usually when Southern Illinois (Frontier) manager Mike Pinto loses a player to affiliated ball, it's a case of good news and bad news. While he is helping a player fulfill his dream, which is one of his jobs, it usually leaves a gaping hole in Pinto's lineup. "If I do my job too well (of helping players move on to affiliated ball), I'll get fired," Pinto explained. But this year, Pinto managed to make a deal where it worked out well for everyone involved. He was able to sell one of his players to the Diamondbacks, but get a middle-of-the-order hitter in return.

Minors | #2008#Independent Audit

Second Chance

J.J. Cooper -

For a guy who was moved to the mound because he couldn't hit, Brandon Taylor sure is crushing the ball. Two years after the Cubs moved him to the mound to take advantage of his 92-94 mph fastball, Taylor ranked in the top five of the Golden League in most offensive categories. He was hitting .422/.472/.798 with 10 home runs, 11 doubles and only eight strikeouts in 109 at-bats. With numbers like that, and a rediscovered love of the game it's safe to say that Taylor's days as a pitcher are long gone.

Minors | #2008#Independent Audit

Always On The Run

J.J. Cooper -

Justin Christian hasn't had much of a chance to get settled anywhere during his baseball career. In college, he played a year at Skyline (Calif.) Junior College, a year at Auburn and a year at Southeast Missouri. He hasn't been able to get settled at a position, moving from second base to shortstop this season. He earned the position switch by showing improved arm strength during spring training.

Minors | #2005#Independent Audit