Keith Law has posted several 'Top' lists. The Top 25 prospects in baseball includes 3 Rays (26-100 are Insider content), the Top 10 by position includes 5 Rays, the Top players by organization lists his Rays Top 10, and the Top farm systems has the Rays 2nd to the Rangers with this blurb: "They just keep churning out the prospects, although they'll have a new challenge in 2009: no draft picks in the top 10 -- or even 20. Success with high school pitchers taken after the first round has been a big part of their system's depth, including another wave of kids who spent 2008 in short-season ball. However, their recent efforts in Latin America have yet to yield any significant prospects."
It's easy to quibble with a pick here or a pick there, but I think overall Keith's rankings are the best available. One surprise, Desmond Jennings as the #25 prospect and #3 center field prospect in all of baseball. Keith on Desmond: "The lost year of development hurts, but Jennings remains a top prospect due to his tool set and tremendous feel for the game. Jennings is a great athlete, a plus-plus runner who's well-built and has a compact stroke geared toward contact. He is strong enough and should be big enough to hit 20-25 homers a year (if not more), but his power hasn't shown up in games yet, and it's not likely to do so until he's 100 percent physically. He also has outstanding baseball instincts in the field, on the bases, and even at the plate, where he shows good pitch recognition."
The Biz of Baseball has added a Minor League Attendance Database: "With assistance from MiLB, The Biz of Baseball now offers an attendance database with data dating back to 2005. Searches can be done by Year, Team, Class, League, and Division. Queries returned display total and average attendance for each team in returned data as well as total gates and openings lost due to weather for a given year." Another excellent addition to a great site.
Josh Leventhal at Baseball America discusses the tough financial situations facing minor leaguers in the offseason: "Most minor league players earn less than $10,000 for an entire season. These paychecks only come during the season, which makes finding a part-time job in the offseason a matter of survival. Part-time gigs have not been hard to find in past years. Companies have been eager to have a professional athlete on staff, sometimes simply for the trophy value alone. Even if a position weren't readily available, they would often invent one just to have the athlete around. The situation has been quite different for many minor leaguers this offseason." Hard to live on $10,000 a year.
"Many may think that the arrival of spring training would provide players with much needed economic relief. In truth, it only complicates matters. Players do not receive paychecks in spring training, but instead receive only a per diem of around $20 per day." Even harder to live on $20 a day.
"Major League Baseball provided no relief for its farmhands this offseason when it denied a request to increase minor leaguers meal money per diem from $20 to $25. The Boston Globe reported that MLB officials felt that an increase was inappropriate given the current economic climate." But the Yankees' spending spree(s), some with taxpayer dollars, were appropriate?
If you are looking for a job, the Montgomery Biscuits are holding a Job Fair: "The Montgomery Biscuits are holding a Job Fair on Saturday, February 7th at Riverwalk Stadium located in our Home Clubhouse. Live interviews will be conducted on-site for every game day department including food service, box office, retail, customer service, stadium operations, grounds crew, scoreboard control room staff and promotional team as well as internships." For the long list of available positions click here.