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Minor League Parks Drive Performance

Matt Eddy -

Isotopes Park in Albuquerque will use a humidor this season in an effort to become less hitter-friendly. Even if they succeed in scaling back offense, the park still will play differently than parks at lower elevations and with thicker, more humid air. That diversity of ballpark context adds a layer of fascination to the minor leagues.

Minors | #2013#Park Factors#Season Preview

Longtime Rivalry Takes Center Stage In NL West

Tracy Ringolsby -

More than ever, the players in the National League West are as talented as any in the game. The NL West has long been one of baseball's most balanced divisions, with every team in the division having made the playoffs twice—and only twice—since 2005. The Giants have cashed in on their two appearances with World Series titles, while the Rockies reached the World Series in 2007 (defeating the Diamondbacks in the NL Championship Series).

Majors | #Bruce Bochy#National League West#Season Preview

2013 College Predictions

In the course of gathering information for the College Preview, we send out a questionnaire to coaches that asks them (among other things) to make predictions in the categories below. We've decided that Aaron Fitt and John Manuel, who spearhead our college coverage, should go out on that same limb.

College | #2013#Season Preview

Preseason Predicted Field Of 64

Aaron Fitt -

The robust Southeastern Conference expands to 14 teams this year, and it looks deeper than ever, landing eight teams in our preseason Top 25. We project the expanded SEC to send a record 10 teams to regionals, and to host six regionals. The ACC comes next with eight NCAA tournament teams and three hosts, followed by the Pac-12 with six regional teams and four hosts. The Big 12 and Conference USA each land four teams in our field and host one regional apiece.

College | #2013#Season Preview

Realignment Shuffles Plenty Of Conferences

Aaron Fitt -

Football- and basketball-driven realignment has left college athletics in a state of great upheaval, and baseball is just along for the ride, like every other sport. Some baseball programs will benefit from the jostling, while others will suffer. Some conferences are getting stronger in baseball, and others are getting weaker. There are plenty more changes on the way over the next few years, and every week seems to bring new rumblings of potential moves that have not yet come to fruition. All college baseball coaches can do is hang on tight and hope for the best. For now, we'll concentrate on what we know for sure: 11 conferences will welcome a total of 20 new teams for the 2013 baseball season. Below, we'll chart all this year's newcomers and break down which teams and conferences stand to gain from the transactions, and which will be worse off.

College | #2013#Season Preview

New Mexico Has Eyes On Omaha

Glen Rosales -Premium Content

-There's an engraved, wooden sign above the door of New Mexico baseball coach Ray Birmingham's office that reads: "Omaha 869 miles. I know exactly how far it is," Birming-ham said. "Right to the doorstep. I've Googled it and I've double-checked it. I've got it memorized. Everybody on this team has their 25 miles to carry to get us there." But in truth, Birmingham believes the Lobos, ranked No. 21 by Baseball America, are a lot closer than that to the home of the College World Series.

College | #2013#Season Preview

2013 Great West Conference

John Manuel -

The Great West never got an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, officially because of its lack of stability and influx of reclassifying D-I teams such as Houston Baptist and Utah Valley. Those excuses are no longer true, but the NCAA has not given the Great West an automatic bid in any sport, making league members anxious to find leagues that do get automatic bids, and now realignment has torn the conference asunder.

College | #2013#2013 draft#Season Preview

Stanford’s Ragira And Wilson Have Scouts Excited

Mike Lemaire -Premium Content

Stanford coach Mark Marquess has seen plenty of eligible college players let all the major league draft talk become a distraction and derail their seasons, so when he was told two of his most-important current draft-eligible players—junior outfielder Austin Wilson and first baseman Brian Ragira—seem unconcerned with their draft stock, Marquess sounded glad to hear it.

College | #2013#2013 draft#Season Preview