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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

Blazing A Trail

Kary Booher -Premium Content

Before the curtain rose on this season, before he would be handed an airline ticket and sent off into his first full year in pro ball, Derek Holland milled about within the Rangers' minor league spring training camp and figured he was just another hopeful.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Slow Start, Fast Finish

David Hall -Premium Content

Minor league seasons are epic endeavors, drawn out from vernal opening days through brutal afternoons of summer BP and into cool September evenings that bring the first inklings of autumn. In the parlance of the game's protagonists, it's a long season—a fact that suited Beau Mills perfectly in 2008.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Men Of Mystery

Ben Badler -Premium Content

For scouts and managers who watched the Southern League this year, it was difficult to get a handle on the performances of Cubs' prospects Jeff Samardzija and Tyler Colvin.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Starting To End Up in The Pen

Kary Booher -Premium Content

The puzzled look on Kris Medlen's face was probably to be expected. Summoned into his manager's office at Double-A Mississippi in early June, the Braves pitching prospect wondered what to make of his immediate future. At the time, he owned a nearly 5-something earned run average out of the bullpen and there was manager Phillip Wellman delivering the surprise news that the righthander should plan on pitching elsewhere—as in Mississippi's rotation, as a starter.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Examining PCL Production

Matt Eddy -Premium Content

Pacific Coast League prospects, like Memphis' Colby Rasmus, who play the majority of their games in the more neutral offensive environments of the American Conference still are viewed in the same light as their brethren in the Pacific Conference, where runs are much more plentiful.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Finishing School

Matt Eddy -Premium Content

Scan the Twins' top prospects lists from earlier this decade and it's clear that the organization was not always the paradigm for developing young pitchers. But a lot has changed in eight years.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse

Making The Pieces Fit

Ben Badler -Premium Content

For a farm director, putting together his organization's minor league rosters is a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Once the general manager narrows the major league roster down to 25 players, each farm director has to allocate 24 players to his Triple-A team, 24 to his Double-A squad, 25 to high Class A and 25 to low Class A. It's up to the general manager and the scouting department to acquire the pieces; it's the farm director's job to put that 98-piece puzzle together. And sometimes the pieces need to be forced into spots where they don't quite seem to fit.

Minors | #2008#Prospect Pulse