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February 6, 2007 12:00 am

Future Shock: Tampa Bay Devil Rays Top Ten Prospects

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Kevin Goldstein

Perhaps the game's best collection of young talent means the days of the Devil Rays as AL East bottom-feeders are numbered.

Excellent Prospects
1. Delmon Young, RF
2. Evan Longoria, 3B
3. Reid Brignac, SS
4. Jeff Niemann, RHP
Very Good Prospects
5. Jacob McGee, LHP
6. Wade Davis, RHP
7. Elijah Dukes, OF/1B
Good Prospects
8. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP
Average Prospects
9. Elliot Johnson, 2B
10. Matt Walker, RHP

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June 9, 2006 12:00 am

Future Shock: NL Draft Notebook

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Kevin Goldstein

Kevin now turns to the National League for a quick recap of how each team made out with their first few picks.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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June 8, 2006 12:00 am

Future Shock: AL Draft Notebook

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Kevin Goldstein

Kevin starts his recap of Tuesday's amateur draft with the American League.

Baltimore Orioles
Billy Rowell, 3b, Bishop Eustace Prep (New Jersey) - 9th overall
Pedro Beato, rhp, St. Petersburg (Florida) JC - 32nd overall
Ryan Adams, ss, Jesuit HS (Louisiana) - 58th overall
Zach Britton, lhp, Weatherford HS (Texas) - 85th overall
Blake Davis, ss, Cal State Fullerton - 115th overall




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May 4, 2006 12:00 am

Future Shock: 2006 Draft Notebook, 5/4/06

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Kevin Goldstein

Kevin has an update on this year's amateur draft.

  • 1. Kansas City: Word on the street is that the Royals will not take North Carolina lefthander Andrew Miller; it looks like a 50/50 proposition that Kansas City will go cheap instead. The good news is that if they do balk on paying Miller the expected asking price of a major league deal with a total value in the $6+ million range, we now have a good idea of who their backup choice is: Washington righty Tim Lincecum. However, while admitting that he's not familiar with the economic factors surrounding the Royals decision, one scouting director thinks that the drop-off in talent between Miller and any other player is too significant for the Royals to pass up. "You look at those at other pitchers, and then you look at Miller and he's a 6-foot-7 lefty with tremendous arm strength," said the scouting director. "He's a completely different animal and if there's any way you could pull it [drafting Miller] off, you'd have to."
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    March 21, 2006 12:00 am

    Future Shock: California, Here They Come

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    Kevin Goldstein

    Kevin takes a closer look at the Class A California League, and how its extreme offensive environments make raw performances look more impressive than they truly are.

    Of the 14 teams that have their Low Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, eight have their High Class A affiliate in the California League, a very different offensive environment for young hitters and pitchers. The dramatic change in the California League leads to plenty of performances which look like growth, owing the the way the League as a whole inflates offense. Taking a step back and looking at the broader picture, however, shows that one needs to evaluate more than just raw statistics to determine the difference between a true offensive breakout season and one that is a product of the California League.

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    December 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Prospectus Matchups: Heisman vs. Golden Spikes

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    Jim Baker

    A year-by-year comparison of the top collegiate football player and top collegiate baseball player in the nation.

    Since everyone has Heisman fever, I thought it would be interesting to compare the winners of each award by year and see how they fared as professionals. While these awards were never meant to be predictors of professional performance, that doesn't mean we can't use them as such, what with free speech and all. Here, in chronological order, is my assessment of which of the collegiate winners won the post-award battle.

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    May 23, 2005 12:00 am

    2005 Amateur Draft Preview

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    Boyd Nation

    Before kicking off his look at '05's draft class, Boyd Nation reviews his analyses from the past two seasons.

    In that vein, I want to do something you'll never see Mel Kiper do. My main role around here is to show up this time of year with pithy pre- and post-draft comments about guys who will be famous for about two weeks in June and then will disappear from public view into a bus in upstate New York for three to five years. Before delving into the cream (and a bit of the froth) of the '05 college draft class, however, I want to take a look back at my comments from the last couple of years and compare them with the players' actual professional performance to date.

    Now, any evaluation at this point in any given year is going to get a grade of incomplete. The hitters mostly got in a couple of months at short-season ball last year and are six weeks into this year, while many of the pitchers didn't throw at all professionally last year after going through the grinder that life as a college ace can be, so in their cases we're just looking at a handful of starts. This year, though, things are even more incomplete than usual, since, as a result of the ongoing game of chicken between the big league clubs and Scott Boras (which, as usual in labor matters, consists of a combination of bad behavior and good press control by the owners and their minions), the top pitching and position talents of last year's draft--Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew, respectively--are still unsigned and look likely to go back into this year's draft after spending some time in the independent leagues to keep sharp. In addition, Wade Townsend made the mistake of trying to continue his education without playing while negotiating, so he's draft-eligible again and hasn't played at all since last spring.

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    June 16, 2004 12:00 am

    A Look at the California League

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    Michael Wolverton

    It's hard to beat minor league baseball for a low-cost, low-hassle evening at the ballpark. I've been spending quite a few of my evenings lately in California League parks, mostly checking out teams in that league's Northern division. Today and Friday I'll run down some of the prospects on the five teams in that division, covering the High-A affiliates for the Giants, Rangers, A's, Rockies, and Devil Rays. There's no rigorous method for choosing prospects listed here. In particular, the omission of certain players (like Vince Sinisi and John Hudgins in today's piece) shouldn't be read as a dismissal of them as prospects.

    There's no rigorous method for choosing prospects listed here. In particular, the omission of certain players (like Vince Sinisi and John Hudgins in today's piece) shouldn't be read as a dismissal of them as prospects.

    San Jose Giants (San Francisco affiliate)

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    July 3, 2001 12:00 am

    Touring the Minors

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    Keith Scherer

    Both teams appear to be in stasis. That's not the case. A review of each organization's minor-league system reveals that the Padres are improving much faster than their major-league record suggests, and the Tigers are at long last proceeding, if slowly, and if perhaps too slowly to catch up to the Indians, White Sox, and Twins.

    San Diego Padres

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    March 5, 2001 12:00 am

    Lost in America

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    Keith Scherer

    Following the 2000 season, the minor leagues underwent dozens of changes. Organizations changed their affiliations within leagues, moved their affiliates from one league to another, and jumped and bumped teams between levels. Along with the reconfigurations, there will be several new parks throughout the minor leagues. What follows below is a delineation of the changes, along with an attempt to anticipate what effects those changes might have.

    Most of the changes occurred at the lower levels. At any level, the talent matters more than the park or league. That's especially true for the low minors, where the change is so rapid, the talent so immature, and the organizational goals so much more focused on development than statistical results. This article doesn't spend much space addressing changes at the rookie or short-season levels. But all the changes are worth noting, both to help track player movement and to better analyze drastic changes in player performance.

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