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From Indy Ball To AFL

John Manuel -Premium Content

Rays righthander Paul Phillips helps exemplify the opportunity that independent baseball can afford. The hard-throwing reliever, who spent the second half of the 2008 season in the independent American Association, signed with the Rays in the offseason and started 2009 in Class A, but finished by winning a Triple-A national championship with Durham and earning a spot in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League.

College | #2009#Column

Draft Gives Teams Chance To Succeed

Tracy Ringolsby -

With the Stephen Strasburg signing by the Nationals came an outcry to revamp baseball's draft. Why? The draft does what it is supposed to do. It gives the teams that have less success on the field a chance to add the better amateur prospects each year.

Majors | #2009#Column

September Callups Fail To Impress This Year

Jim Callis -Premium Content

When I first started working at Baseball America, one of the most exciting months of the year was September, and not just because the humidity in North Carolina kindly dissipated. Teams annually would debut top prospects when rosters expanded, and in those pre-Internet days, that usually meant our first chance to see them in action.

Minors | #2009#Column

McDonald Comes Full Circle

Jack Etkin -

One of the most decorated prep athletes in Colorado history, Darnell McDonald was a first-round pick in 1997. He finally played his first game at Coors Field on Monday after a long, mostly minor league career, and talked to Jack Etkin about the long, strange trip back to Denver.

Majors | #2009#Column

Needed Step

Tracy Ringolsby -

For all the fanfare surrounding the Nationals agreeing to terms with righthander Stephen Strasburg, the more significant moment in the history of that franchise came three days later. That's when the term interim was removed from Mike Rizzo's title and he was officially announced as the team's general manager, and the true foundation for the future was put in place.

Majors | #2009#Column

Slowing The Spread Of The Game

John Manuel -Premium Content

While my colleague Will Lingo argues (correctly) that baseball and the Olympics were never a great fit, there are ways that baseball needs the Olympics. And the biggest reason is the bureaucracy and the money that stem from the strength of the Olympic brand name.

Majors | #2009#Column

Who Needs Them?

Will Lingo -Premium Content

What ever happened to baseball in the Olympics? It seems like a natural idea. Baseball is the ultimate summer sport, so the Summer Olympics should be an ideal home for it. Excitement and hopes were high when it debuted as a demonstration sport in 1984. But the marriage never really worked.

Minors | #2009#Column

No Easy Solution

Will Lingo -Premium Content

Scranton's Yankee dream has run into ugly reality. When the New York Yankees moved their Triple-A affiliation from Columbus to Scranton in 2007, it was supposed to represent a bright new future for the franchise. Instead the team is still sitting in an aging stadium.

Minors | #2009#Column

Rickey Steals The Show

Tracy Ringolsby -Premium Content

What was so special about Rickey Henderson's induction into the Hall of Fame is that it was clear how special the moment was for Henderson. Henderson stole the show at this year's induction ceremony. But then, what else could you expect from the game's all-time thief?

Majors | #2009#Column

Top 10 Traded Prospects

John Manuel -Premium Content

It makes sense that the team that traded the best players—the Indians—should wind up with the best prospects. Our look at the top 10 prospects who changed hands at the trade deadline, with a couple of sleepers thrown in.

College | #2009#Column

Indians Should Have Held On To Stars

Jim Callis -

Last summer, trading C.C. Sabathia was a no-brainer for the Indians. But they should have resisted trading Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez at this year's deadline. Jim Callis also takes a quick look at other deadline deals of note.

Minors | #2009#Column

These Pitchers Can Hit

Jim Callis -Premium Content

Casey Kelly may have been the most notable two-way player at the Futures Game, but he's not necessarily the only player there who could pull off a switch to playing a position.

Minors | #2009#Column

A Career Highlight

Premium Content

The Triple-A all-star game will never get that much national attention, but for some of the players at the game it's an impressive career highlight.

College | #2009#Column