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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

Built To Last

Marc Topkin -

The flashy rings, the William Harridge trophy and the American League championship banner they will raise on April 13 are all tangible residuals of the Rays' stunning 2008 success. But there was so much more to their remarkable season, which included their first winning record, maiden playoff appearance, a trip to the World Series, a haul of major postseason awards and—to cap it all—Baseball America's Organization of the Year award.

Majors | #2008#Awards#Organization Of The Year

What A Legacy

Bill Ballew -

The year 1948 had its fair share of signings.<br/><br/>President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan and later instituted the second peacetime military draft in United States history. Israel signed its declaration of independence. And perhaps slightly overlooked was the White Sox's signing of 17-year-old righthander Bill Fischer one day after he impressed Hall of Famer Red Ruffing during a tryout camp in Wisconsin Rapids.

Majors | #2008#Awards#Roland Hemond Award

Setting Up Success

Alex Speier -

In six years under general manager Theo Epstein, the Red Sox have enjoyed more on-field success than any team in baseball. Boston has been to the playoffs five times, winning two championships and coming just one win short of reaching two additional World Series. During that time, the primary goal of the Red Sox has been, in Epstein's words, "to build a healthy foundation that could put us in position to have sustained success." By all indications, the Sox have done precisely that.

Majors | #2008#Awards#Executive Of The Year

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