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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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2007 MLB Preview
System is bursting with top prospects
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published April 1, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG - The pride of the Devil Rays organization is its farm system. Tampa Bay recently placed seven players on Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list, second most in the majors.
And though many prospects such as Delmon Young, Elijah Dukes and B.J. Upton will have their opportunity to shine at the major-league level, the Rays remain loaded on the farm with a crop of prospects - third baseman Evan Longoria, shortstop Reid Brignac, pitcher Jeff Niemann among them - who will be knocking on the door sooner than later.
"This is an unusual situation, because right now on our major-league team, we basically have a young core group of players that are very exciting and can be potentially very high-end major-league baseball players relatively soon," manager Joe Maddon said. "Furthermore, you have this core group in the minor leagues that rivals the group that's already here. And they're just a couple of years younger than the group that's here. So from an organizational perspective, I don't think many people could say that about their teams or their organization."
A glance at the Rays' minor- league system, including new Class A affiliates in Vero Beach and Columbus, Ga.
DURHAM (N.C.) BULLS
Manager: Charlie Montoyo
Coaches: Xavier Hernandez, Gary Gaetti
Web site: durhambulls.com
MONTGOMERY (ALA.) BISCUITS
Manager: Billy Gardner Jr.
Coaches: Neil Allen, Hector Torres
Web site: biscuitsbaseball.com
Advanced Class A
VERO BEACH DEVIL RAYS
Manager: Joe Szekely
Coaches: R.C. Lichtenstein, Ben Oglivie
Web site: vbdrays.com
COLUMBUS (GA.) CATFISH
Manager: Jim Morrison
Coaches: Bill Moloney, Brady Williams
Web site: columbuscatfish.com
HUDSON VALLEY (N.Y.) RENEGADES
Manager: Matt Quatraro
Coaches: Rafael Montalvo, Ozzie Timmons
Web site: hvrenegades.com
PRINCETON (W. VA.) DEVIL RAYS
Manager: Jamie Nelson
Coaches: Marty Demerritt, Rafael Deleon
Web site: princetondevilrays.com
Director of minor-league operations: Mitch Lukevics