Browse Articles

2005 Arizona Fall League Preview

Chris Kline -

This is the 14th season for the Arizona Fall League, Major League Baseball's domestic, developmental league for prospects. In many ways, it's the ultimate Baseball America league, with rosters bulging with many of the best young players in the game today. Let's take a look at the top players on each team, broken down by the following categories: Best Pitching Prospect, Best Position Prospect, Emerging Player, and a player who is bouncing back—either from injury or who has come to the AFL to get more work and experience after a down year.

Minors | #2005#Arizona Fall League#Winter Baseball

2005 Manager Of The Year: Ken Oberkfell

Chris Kline -

Ken Oberkfell led Norfolk to a 79-65 record, winning the IL's South Division by 14 games in his rookie season in Triple-A. The club bowed out in the first round of the playoffs, but took eventual champion Toledo to a deciding fifth game before doing so. His openness, experience and the outstanding job he did this season in Norfolk make him Baseball America's Manager of the Year.

Minors | #2005#Awards#Manager Of The Year

2005 Early Draft Preview: Overview

Jim Callis -Premium Content

According to scouting directors, the 2005 draft class doesn't need a boost from Townsend's presence. By all accounts, it's a deep class that scouts are looking forward to sifting through, even if they aren't looking forward to paying the players at the top the multimillion-dollar, major league contracts that Justin Verlander, Humber and Niemann received as the second, third and fourth selections in 2004.

Draft | #2005#Early Draft Preview

Juco Jamboree: Top 25 Prospects

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

Here's how Baseball America's Allan Simpson sees the nation's top 25 junior college prospects for the 2006 draft. For players that were drafted in 2005 and remain under control, the team that drafted them (and the round) is noted. Such players will be eligible to sign after their 2006 season is complete until the closed period—a week before the draft. They will re-enter this year's draft if they don't sign.

Draft | #2005#Early Draft Preview

Signing Bonuses Year-By-Year

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

Signing bonuses have grown exponentially since 1965, when the draft was instituted ostensibly to . . . curtail the growth of signing bonuses. From a first-round average of less than $50,000 in the first several years of the draft, the average bonus grew to more than $2 million a few years ago before leveling off and actually declining. Following is a year-by-year breakdown of average first-round signing bonuses, the annual percentage change, the first overall pick in the June regular phase and his bonus, and the player who received the largest bonus (if other from the No. 1 pick), as compiled by BA founding editor Allan Simpson. The signing bonus average for first-round picks from 1965-82 includes the value of college scholarship plans and incentive bonus plans, in addition to the cash bonus paid. From 1983-2004, the amount represents only the cash bonus paid.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Bonus Concerns Created Draft; Yet Still Exist

Allan Simpson -Premium Content

Two weeks before the 2000 draft, Sandy Alderson, then Major League Baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations, called a meeting of scouting directors in Dallas. Disturbed with the runaway inflation of signing bonuses in the 1990s, he sought to curtail the game's age-old problem of reckless spending on untried amateur players.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Development Of A Hotbed

Will Kimmey -Premium Content

Virginia has produced plenty of firsts. America's first permanent settlement came in Jamestown in 1607. The College of William & Mary opened the nation's first law school in 1779, started the first educational honor system and founded Phi Beta Kappa. Virginia native George Washington served as the nation's first president from 1789-97, and seven more presidents have come from the state. In the sports world, NFL franchises have drafted Virginia natives first overall three times: Bill Dudley (1942), Bruce Smith (1985) and Michael Vick (2001) while Ralph Sampson (1984) and Allen Iverson (1996) became No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Yet for all its firsts and abundant athletic talent, Virginia has never produced the first pick of the baseball draft. Expect that to change this year. Chesapeake's Justin Upton rates as the favorite to go from Great Bridge High in Chesapeake to the Diamondbacks with the first selection, one pick earlier than his brother B.J. went to the Devil Rays in 2002. Old Dominion righthander Justin Verlander (2004) and James Madison righthander Jay Franklin (1971) give Virginia three No. 2 overall picks in draft history.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Fast Hands In Fort Meade

Alan Matthews -Premium Content

With a population of less than 5,000, it's easy to miss Fort Meade, Fla. But baseball scouts have gone out of their way to find it this spring, in search of the righthanded-hitting center fielder who has shot up the draft charts. Fort Meade is right in the center of the state, about 70 miles east of St. Petersburg. Phosphate mines employ many of the town's residents, including most of Andrew McCutchen's living and past relatives. It's the kind of place where high school athletes are icons and everyone knows everyone.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

Iowa Product Fights Northern Bias

Alan Matthews -Premium Content

isten closely as names are called June 7. And it might not be a bad idea to have an atlas handy. This year's draft crop features players from all corners of the country. Towns like Phenix City, Ala., New Richmond, Ohio, Aurora, Ill., and University Place, Wash., are all likely to produce high-round picks. Crosscheckers and scouting directors have booked flights to several unlikely destinations this spring, and Des Moines, Iowa, features another unlikely prospect with impact potential.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview