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The Best Of The Rest

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Nothing we do at Baseball America sparks as much debate as our organization Top 10 Prospects lists. It's a given that fans (and sometimes the teams themselves) will get outraged by where guys rank—go look for some Nick Hagadone discussion on any Red Sox message board—or by the fact that they missed out altogether. We have the same arguments within the walls of BA, and we can get just as spirited. Even with the thinnest of farm systems, our writers usually agonize over not having enough room on the Top 10 to include everyone they want. So for the sixth straight year, we present our American League all-non-Top 10 team.

Minors | #2008#Column

The Silver Touch

Josh Leventhal -

Naomi Silver swears she was not trying to follow in her father's footsteps. It was only after the Rochester Red Wings' chief operating officer helped save minor league baseball in neighboring Batavia that she realized how the act so closely resembled an achievement of her father some 50 years ago.

Minors | #2008#Awards#Executive Of The Year

Working Wonders

Conor Glassey -

In today's age, the minor league teams drawing the most fans are typically those with the newest ballparks. That's not the case with the Birmingham Barons. Sure, Regions Park is newer than the stadium they left, but that can be said of every ballpark in America. After all, Rickwood Field is the oldest standing ballpark in the country.

Minors | #2008#Awards#Freitas Awards

Packing Them In

Matt Eddy -

It's a tried and true recipe for success: Take a town hungry for baseball, give it a consistent winner in a beautiful, new ballpark and then sit back and watch the turnstiles spin. The Greeneville Astros have followed the plan to a tee in their five seasons in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, consistently providing a high-quality product while annually leading the league in attendance, two key reasons why they are the 2008 short-season winners of the Freitas Award.

Minors | #2008#Awards#Freitas Awards

Tough Sledding Ahead

Josh Leventhal -

Minor league baseball has been on a record rise in the post-Bull Durham era, as the sport's popularity has sparked five straight seasons of attendance records that have also seen soaring franchise values and record merchandise sales. More than 43 million people attended minor league games in 2008, as 78 of the sport's 160 teams saw an increase at the gate from the previous season. This year's Winter Meetings will be accompanied with something unfamiliar in recent years: reason for concern.

Minors | #2008#Business Beat

Worth A Look

Kary Booher -

The buzz of the offseason likely will stay on the heels of others, of bigger names, of more talented prospects, even though he created quite the ruckus this year in winning the Texas League batting title. But just when it seemed safe to assume the winter would quiet down around third baseman Jesus Guzman comes this line next to his name out of the Venezuelan League: .400/.500/.696.

Minors | #2009#Winter Baseball#Winter Wonders

Scouting The Rule 5 Draft

John Manuel -Premium Content

It's not easy to pick out who the top players will turn out to be going into a Rule 5 draft, but major league clubs all get the same release of eligible players. It's up to the teams to go through their scouting reports and see who fits their needs best, who's most worth the scant $50,000 wager on talent. BA's staff has checked its own scouting reports as well as the list of eligible players. We've also checked on the history of the Rule 5 for the profiles of players who often get selected—lefthanded pitchers, relievers, versatile infielders, power bats. Here's our primer on the best bets to go in this year's draft.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse