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Going Deep: Cooper Brannan

Alan Schwarz -Premium Content

Cooper Brannan's career as an infantry rifleman in the Marines ended two years ago, when on his second tour of duty in Iraq, a grenade blew several fingers off his left hand. Yet that horrific moment ultimately led to a second career beginning right now: Padres minor league pitcher. Brannan, 22, still has only four fingers on his left hand but will carry 40 times the normal life experience inside his new uniform. I spoke with the righthander about getting signed by the Padres, his experience in Iraq, and playing Wiffle ball in the desert with buddies who never came home.

Majors | #2007#Column

History Says Price May Not Be Right For No. 1 Pick

Jim Callis -Premium Content

We stand behind our initial coverage of the 2007 draft in this issue, our annual Early Draft Preview. But it's simply the nature of the draft that so much changes over the course of the spring. Players improve, regress or get hurt, and signability becomes a factor as draft day approaches.

Minors | #2007#Column

King Was One Of Minors’ Unheralded Innovators

Will Lingo -Premium Content

When most people involved in minor league baseball heard about the death of Dick King—if they heard about it at all—they probably weren't sure exactly who Dick King was. Yet he was as important as anyone among the handful of people who helped keep the minor leagues going in the 1950s and the couple of decades after that, paving the way for the rebirth that began in the late 1970s and continues even today.

Minors | #2007#Column

The 31st Team, Part II

Jim Callis -Premium Content

We celebrate the arrival of the 2007 Prospect Handbook, which you can order here and have it in your hands in just a couple of days, with the unveiling of The 31st Team—our name for all the scouting reports that didn't quite make it into the book. Players can get written up and then miss the cut for a variety of reasons, ranging from trades to injuries to our endless tinkering with our top 30 lists.

Minors | #2007#Column

The 31st Team, Part I

Jim Callis -Premium Content

We celebrate the arrival of the 2007 Prospect Handbook with our 31st Team, the annual collection of the players who were squeezed out of the book for one reason or another. This year's group is so large that it has been split into two parts.

Minors | #2007#Column

BA Crew, Award Winners Make For Best Gala Yet

Will Lingo -Premium Content

The Baseball America Awards Gala has been a special event for us from the first year of its existence (2001 in Boston). We're happy that it has become a major event on the Winter Meetings calendar as well. But even with the high bar past events have established, this year's event was special.

Minors | #2007#Column