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Bottom Of Indy Ball Keeps Churning

Will Lingo -Premium Content

A radio announcer resigns on the air because he hasn't been paid. A team owner who has served time in prison is removed from an ownership group so the team can move forward with its plans to be the centerpiece of a reality show. A league actually exists with teams in Maui, Calgary, suburban Chicago and Texas. In other words, it's just another year in independent baseball.

Minors | #2011#Column

MLB’s Amateur Attitude Is Baffling

Jim Callis -Premium Content

MLB has a double standard when it comes to signing amateur talent. Though the draft has proven to be a bargain in talent acquisition and the rampant inflation of bonuses has been curtailed, the commissioner's office continues to try to cut costs. At the same time, international bonuses have exploded and MLB lets the international market go unchecked.

Minors | #2011#Column

Futures Game Was An Idea Whose Time Had Come

Will Lingo -Premium Content

At this point we take the Futures Game for granted, and we have come to expect 50 of the game's best prospects to gather each year in an exhibition of their premium skills. Those of us who have been around for awhile, however, remember a time when it just wasn't so.

Minors | #2011#Column

Teams Seldom Hit On Top Two Picks

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley may cost Arizona a combined $10 million to sign. Their ceilings are that high, so high that it's not out of the question that they could develop into the best pair of top choices in draft history—a standard currently held by a duo whose bonuses totaled what a pick in a double-digit round might get these days.

Minors | #2011#Column

Passion Shows In College Coverage

Will Lingo -Premium Content

It's an exceedingly busy time on the sports calendar, what with the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals and the Gold Cup all going on at the same time. But at the beginning of June, we at Baseball America are occupied with much more important things: namely, the college baseball postseason and a little thing called the draft.

Minors | #2011#Column

In The Callis Draft, Value Comes To Those Who Spend Money

Jim Callis -Premium Content

The strength of a deep 2011 draft was college pitchers, starting with seven who were possible top-10 picks. So when I randomly wound up with the 10th slot in my annual hypothetical 10-round draft for Baseball America, I assumed I'd get a college arm unless teams backed off potential quarterbacks Bubba Starling and Archie Bradley because of signability.

Minors | #2011#Column

Draft Bonanzas Rarely Pay Off

Jim Callis -Premium Content

History indicates, however, that a surfeit of draft picks rarely translates into a surplus of talent. Fourteen teams have had seven or more selections in the first two rounds, including the 2007 and '10 Blue Jays and 2009 Diamondbacks, whose crops haven't had much time to develop. The other 11 draft bonanzas produced a total of three all-stars.

Minors | #2011#Column

Teams Outsource For Shortstops

Jim Callis -Premium Content

As stacked as the 2011 draft is, there's one glaring weakness. There may be college and high school arms galore, as well as plenty of athletic prep switch-hitters and college up-the-middle players, but there sure aren't a lot of shortstops. But that's not unusual.

Minors | #2011#Column