Stephen Drew Named No. 1 in Minor League News MLN FAB50 Baseball 2006

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Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Stephen Drew, a shortstop for the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders, takes top honors in annual rankings of top minor league baseball players to mid-season. Forty nine others, including Tampa Bay's Delmon Young and the Angels Howie Kendrick, also make this best-of-the-best list.

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Twenty-five players at the lower classes of the development system are chosen as well in the [MLN] Ones2Watch™. While it’s still too early to tell if these guys will go on to the major leagues, their achievements and movement in the organization receives the attention it deserves.

Tucson Sidewinders shortstop Stephen Drew was chosen as the number one player in minor league baseball by the editorial staff of Minor League News in the Minor League News MLN FAB50™ Baseball 2006 Rankings, appearing in this month’s issue of MLN Sports Zone (http://www.mlnsportszone.com).

Top prospects from many organizations, including Delmon Young (No. 2) of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Durham Bulls), and Howie Kendrick (No. 3) of the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim (Salt Lake Bees) are represented on the MLN FAB50 Baseball 2006.

Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization (South Bend SilverHawks) was named the No. 1 player in the Ones2Watch™ list of athletes with, in the estimation of the MLN editorial staff, more than 15 months of development time remaining.

The MLN FAB50 Baseball rankings appear annually in the mid-August issue of MLN SportsZone™, the oldest continuously publishing all-minor and independent sports magazine in the nation, covering baseball, hockey, basketball, and football.

The Minor League News FAB50 list differs from other publications’ similar offerings because it is a movement ranking, blending both the ability of the player, and the realities of the farm system in which they play, into a positioning of players with real opportunities to be major leaguers. Players are evaluated from Spring Training through the MLB All-Star break.

“We try to capture, in that July snapshot moment, which fifty players in minor league baseball blend ability, means, and opportunity to have the best shot to make the majors over the remainder of this season or the next,” said Brian Ross, Senior Editor of MLN publications.

“Twenty-five players at the lower classes of the development system are chosen as well in the [MLN] Ones2Watch™. While it’s still too early to tell if these guys will go on to the major leagues, their achievements and movement in the organization receives the attention it deserves.”

Players are selected by the Minor League News MLN FAB50 Editorial Committee at the close of the All-Star break based on their performance plus other career variables, which includes feedback from our surveys of scouts and farm directors, general managers, managers, coaches, trainers, agents, media relations staff and broadcasters throughout major and minor league baseball.

Previous number one players in the MLN FAB50 include Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (2005) and Tampa Bay Devil Rays infielder BJ Upton (2004).

Dodgers Farm Takes Top Honors

In related news the Los Angeles Dodgers were named as the Minor League News MLN Farm System of the Year 2006. The Arizona Diamondbacks placed second in the FAB50 2006 Farm rankings; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim placed third. In 2005, the award was won by the Boston Red Sox.

The cover will be available at http://www.mlnsportszone.com through September 15, 2006.

To see all fifty players on the MLN FAB50 Baseball 2006 rankings, see the article on MLN SportsZone at: http://www.minorleaguenews.com/baseball/features/articles2006/08/fab50/00.html

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