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Trail blazer Židek laying down the law

Czech-born umpire aims to be first from nation to reach Majors
10:30 AM EST

Zdeněk Židek -- that's Zee Zdenek on box scores -- knows the letter of the law in the courtroom. And also on the baseball field.Although becoming an umpire may not seem like the wildest possible dream for an American kid, it's certainly a reach when you grow up in the

Toolshed: Prospects affected by roster rules

Nine players who could benefit from 26-man, two-way changes
10:00 AM EST

Baseball will have a new look in 2020.Last week, Major League Baseball officially unveiled rule changes that will affect the top level for the upcoming season and beyond.For starters, active rosters will expand from their previous 25-man sizes to 26-man for 2020. Of those 26 players, a new maximum of

Coupe de 'Ville: Jumbo Shrimp ready to ride

Jacksonville "shoots for the moon" with toy car-themed promotion
February 20, 2020

This is the third article in a multi-part series detailing the evolution of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp's 2020 promotions schedule. To read the first installment, click here. For the second installment, click here.  When MiLB.com last spoke with Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp promotions director David Ratz, he remarked that he had been "going

Ambassadors for Change: Breon Dennis

Spotlighting the people and programs that champion MiLB diversity and inclusion
February 20, 2020

Minor League Baseball has placed diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its growth strategy. We strive to create an industry where all identities are represented, welcomed, valued and empowered to enhance our league's culture, creativity, innovation and comprehensive service to the communities we occupy. We strive to be the

Folden already a hit with Cubs

New hitting instructor making immediate impression
February 19, 2020

Sure, when the Cubs announced the hiring of Rachel Folden on Nov. 22, she became the first female coach in team history. And, yes, the 32-year-old was -- and continues to be -- a prime figure for the evolution of the sport and evidence that women have a place in

Farm system rankings: Pitchers, 10-1

Padres, Tigers, Dodgers battle it out for top spot on mound
February 19, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com is looking at the state of all 30 farm systems over the next month and ranking them in several different ways. The second installment, broken into three parts, focuses on pitchers and considers the quality and quantity of top talent in each system.

Pirates' Reyes suspended 80 games

Utilityman tested positive for performance-enhancing substance
February 19, 2020

A rough offseason for Pablo Reyes just got even rougher.The Pirates Minor League utilityman has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday. The suspension comes without pay and will be effective at the start of the 2020 season.

A season of remembrance in Oklahoma City

Dodgers commemorating 25th anniversary of downtown bombing
February 18, 2020

On April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City was changed forever.At 9:02 that morning, a truck packed with explosives was detonated outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The Oklahoma City bombing, which claimed 168 lives, is the deadliest domestic terror attack in the history of the United States.   At a news conference

Farm System Rankings: Pitchers, 20-11

Royals, Yankees lead middle group with impressive talent
February 18, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com looks at the state of all 30 farm systems and ranks them in several different ways. This second installment, broken into three parts, focuses on pitchers and considers the quality and quantity of talent in each system. The rankings, 20-11.

Minor League Baseball statement on player pay raises

February 15, 2020

Minor League Baseball (MiLB) issued the following statement today regarding Major League Baseball's (MLB) plan to increase Minor League player pay starting in 2021:

Farm system rankings: Pitchers, 30-21

Nats hoarding arms; Tribe, Giants looking to move forward
February 17, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com is looking at the state of all 30 farm systems over the next month and ranking them in several different ways. The second installment, broken into three parts, focuses on pitchers and considers the quality and quantity of top talent in each system.

Batting Around: The ballpark name game

Minors stadiums, like teams they host, often switch monikers
February 13, 2020

Rebranding is a big part of the Minor League Baseball offseason, as teams across the country unveil new names and logos. But the rebranding doesn't necessarily stop there. Ballpark names also are subject to change.Ballpark name changes are most often precipitated by the expiration of previously existing naming rights agreements.

NBA's Baynes crosses over with MiLB caps

Suns center making instant connections with vast hat collection
February 12, 2020

Aron Baynes was born in New Zealand, grew up in a small town in Australia and has traveled the world playing basketball on the game's biggest stages. Along the way, he found that through Minor League Baseball, he didn't feel so far from home.In his 12th professional season playing in

Farm system rankings: Position players, 10-1

White Sox stacked with Robert, Vaughn, Madrigal on the way
February 12, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com looks at the state of all 30 farm systems and ranks them in several different ways. This first installment, broken into three parts, focuses on position players and considers the quality and quantity of talent in each system. Here are the top 10

Nationals invite Garcia to spring camp

No. 97 prospect looking to make impact with defending champs
February 12, 2020

This spring, the defending World Series champions will get a closer look at one potential piece of their future.The Nationals have invited No. 97 overall prospectLuis Garcia to Major League Spring Training, the club announced Wednesday. Twenty-two players in total received non-roster invitations from Washington.

Ambassadors for Change: Destiny Whitmore

Spotlighting the people and programs that champion diversity and inclusion in MiLB
February 12, 2020

Minor League Baseball has placed diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its growth strategy. We strive to create an industry where all identities are represented, welcomed, valued and empowered to enhance our league's culture, creativity, innovation and comprehensive service to the communities we occupy. We strive to be the

2020 Prospect Projections: NL West rookies

Lux prepared to make Dodgers impact; Padres' Gore closing in
February 14, 2020

This is the sixth in a six-part Toolshed series that uses FanGraphs' Steamer600 projections to look at how prospects would fare over a full Major League season in 2020. The system bases its forecast on 600 plate appearances for position players, 450 plate appearances for catchers, 200 innings for starting pitchers and

Red Sox add Downs to big league camp

Day after acquisition finalized, top prospect gets spring invite
February 11, 2020

Jeter Downs and Connor Wong have a new employer, and they won't have to wait long to get acquainted.A day after they were included in the finalized blockbuster that sent 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, Downs and Wong were among five non-roster players invited to big

Jays' Pardinho has Tommy John surgery

No. 5 prospect dealt with right elbow soreness last season
February 11, 2020

When Eric Pardinho was placed on the Injured List late last season, it was apparently a precautionary measure after he experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow. Now, just weeks away from the start of Spring Training games, it appears the issue is more serious.The fifth-ranked Blue Jays prospect underwent Tommy John

Farm system rankings: Position players, 20-11

D-backs, Orioles rising up; Pirates, Cardinals continue to excite
February 11, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com is looking at the state of all 30 farm systems over the next month and ranking them in several different ways. The first installment, broken into three parts, focuses on position players and considers the quality and quantity of top talent in each

Whalen makes his pitch in return to Mets

Former pitching prospect comes full circle after battling anxiety
February 10, 2020

Rob Whalen knew he was making the right decision. He knew that walking away from the game he loved was necessary. Never mind his passion for baseball, the former prospect needed to get his life back on track.What Whalen didn't expect was how easy the decision had been. That was

Ambassadors for Change: Belicia Montgomery

Spotlighting the people, programs and stories that champion diversity and inclusion in Minor League Baseball
February 10, 2020

Minor League Baseball has placed diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its growth strategy. We strive to create an industry where all identities are represented, welcomed, valued and empowered to enhance our league's culture, creativity, innovation and comprehensive service to the communities we occupy. We strive to be the

Betts trade official with addition of Downs

No. 44 overall prospect, Wong going from Dodgers to Red Sox
February 8, 2020

Baseball's blockbuster trade is finally official with the key addition of Dodgers' shortstop Jeter Downs. Downs, MLB.com's No. 44 overall prospect, and catcher Connor Wong were added to the deal that sends 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts, left-hander David Price and cash from the Red Sox to the Dodgers. The trade was finalized

Farm system rankings: Position players, 30-21

Witt leads next-gen Royals; Tigers' Greene striving for more
February 10, 2020

With the 2020 season rapidly approaching, MiLB.com looks at the state of all 30 farm systems and ranks them in several different ways. This first installment, broken into three parts, focuses on position players and considers the quality and quantity of top talent currently in each system. So, without further