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Chris Kline’s AFL Road Trip: Scouting Jered Weaver

Chris Kline -

Angels righthander Jered Weaver finished up 2005 at Double-A Arkansas, allowing three earned runs on six hits in his final start against Midland in the Texas League championship series. His fastball, slider and changeup were all quality pitches into the postseason, where he struck out 16 in 13 innings over two starts. But so far in the Arizona Fall League, Weaver has quickly found out that this isn't the Texas League anymore. In seven innings, the Angels' first-round pick in 2004 has allowed seven runs on 12 hits. His secondary numbers are still solid, with a 12-2 strikeout-walk ratio.

Minors | #2005#Arizona Fall League#Winter Baseball

Lancaster Owners Aim For Turnaround

Gideon Rubin -Premium Content

Imagine if one of the most prospect-rich teams in recent California League history took the field and nobody watched. That scenario has played itself out in Lancaster, where the JetHawks—the high Class A affiliate of the Diamondbacks—have seen a precipitous attendance decline despite fielding some of baseball's most exciting prospects in recent years.

Minors | #2006#Season Preview

Casto Might Be Moving Again

Chris Kline -Premium Content

Coming out of Portland as a third-round pick of the Nationals in 2003, Kory Casto wasn't exactly a high-profile prospect. There were a few expectations, but they were more like those of a corner outfielder who might hit for some power—not as a corner infielder who could also hit for average and pick it at third.

Minors | #2006#Season Preview

Business Beat

J.J. Cooper -Premium Content

Sitting in a business class at Arizona State, Aaron Klusman didn't feel like he was learning a whole lot. The class was long, and a little boring. But boredom quickly turned to inspiration. "The teacher lost me a little bit. I'd always sketched in class, and while sketching, I came up with a corporate logo," Klusman said. A couple of doodles on a piece of paper turned into a fledgling business for Klusman, who is equally adept hitting the corner with a fastball, or pitching his clothing line to a potential sale.

Minors | #2006#Business Beat

Stellar Farm Systems Usually Pay Off

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Diamondbacks fans finally are getting a taste of what most expansion teams endure. Arizona went 65-97 in its inaugural 1998 season before launching a four-year run that included 375 wins, three National League West titles and a dramatic World Series championship in 2001. But the Diamondbacks subsequently have felt the Devil Rays' pain, totaling just 212 victories the last three years.

Minors | #2006#Column

Getting House Back In Order

Brian McTaggart -Premium Content

He had money and fame at a young age, and seemed destined to be a star in whichever sport he chose. That was eight years ago, before J.R. House's body began to break down and before the can't-miss Pirates prospect and record-setting high school quarterback found himself suddenly out of work.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Bulletin

Schools Are In

Juan C. Rodriguez -Premium Content

The names looked good on dry-erase boards in the Marlins' offices and Winter Meetings hotel suite. They looked even better on the backs of spring training workout jerseys. Seeing their newly acquired pitchers lined up at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, the Marlins were overwhelmed at what they had added to an already respectable farm system. The foundation included the No. 4 prospect in baseball in outfielder Jeremy Hermida, as well as top 100 pitchers Scott Olsen, Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad. And that was before their two-week trading flurry kicked off on Thanksgiving.

Minors | #2006#Prospect Bulletin

Get Charged Up For Another Year

Will Lingo -Premium Content

Well, we've made it through another long, cold, lonely winter, and it's time to get out to the ballpark again. Though football has tried to co-opt the special preseason feeling of baseball in recent years, seeing a bunch of fat guys flop-sweating their way through August is not nearly the same thing as spring training.

Minors | #2006#Column

Plenty To Play For

Jon Wilner -Premium Content

From his spot in the front corner of the Giants' spring-training locker room, Kevin Frandsen likes to sit back and observe. Sure, he'll laugh at Ray Durham's jokes, needle a few of the younger guys and partake in the occasional card game. But mostly, Frandsen stays quiet and takes it all in. It can't get any better.

Minors | #2006#Season Preview