J.J. Cooper

Florida State League Top 20 Prospects List

J.J. Cooper -

The high Class A Florida State League always has been a nightmare for hitters. Spacious major league spring-training parks turn home runs into long outs, several of the stadiums have prevailing winds that blow in, and the heat and humidity sap hitters' bat speed as the long season rolls along. But hitters this year had extra reason to feel they were being picked on. Because the league has some of the best April weather in the minors, teams stocked their FSL affiliates with a slew of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

Minors | #2006#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

Florida State League Top 20 Prospects

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

The high Class A Florida State League always has been a nightmare for hitters. Spacious major league spring-training parks turn home runs into long outs, several of the stadiums have prevailing winds that blow in, and the heat and humidity sap hitters' bat speed as the long season rolls along. But hitters this year had extra reason to feel they were being picked on. Because the league has some of the best April weather in the minors, teams stocked their FSL affiliates with a slew of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

Minors | #2006#League Top 20 Prospects#Rankings

Business Beat: Sept. 15

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

Don't mistake the quiet to mean that nothing is going on. The end of the minor league season meant that many affiliation agreements between major and minor league teams have officially come to an end. Player-development contracts—the official name of the documents that bind a major league and minor league team together—run in two-year increments, so this is the year when unhappy couples can look for greener pastures.

Minors | #2006#Business Beat

Independent Audit: Sept. 7

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

Independent league managers don't have much of a rooting interest in whether Monterrey or Saltillo wins the crown, but they have an intense interest in finding out which teams have been knocked out. When a Mexican League team's season is over, its players are free to sign with a U.S. club for the rest of the year. And for independent league teams in pennant races, an early August pickup could be the difference between making the playoffs and sitting home.

Minors | #2006#Independent Audit

Independent Audit: Aug. 24

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

After signing with Kalamazoo in the offseason, Ian Church has proven the Frontier League's most surprising star. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound center fielder has turned into the league's top power hitter. His 21 home runs are seven more than anyone else in the league, and three more than he had hit in the last seven seasons combined.

Minors | #2006#Independent Audit

Business Beat: Aug. 23

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

Documents obtained by the Springdale Morning News provided details on a 20-year lease between the Wranglers and the city of Springdale. The only point of negotiation was whether the baseball team will retain the rights to rent out the ballpark during the offseason, or whether the city will own those rights. When that final detail is worked out, the Wranglers are aiming to move to Springdale for the 2008 season.

Minors | #2006#Business Beat