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Monday Morning Minors - Leading Off

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I first want to thank Blez for giving me the opportunity to continue to be a part of the A's online community. As a longtime A's fan I have been through the ups and downs throughout the seasons, but living more than a thousand miles from the Oakland had left me feeling disconnected from the team I love. I've spent much of the past 2 years running the now defunct AthleticsMinors.com, giving (usually) daily updates of player performances, transaction news, injuries, etc. Due to a work conflict, finding time for the website started to feel like a chore more than a pleasure. When every minute spent on the website was a minute lost to sleep, something had to give. A weekly minors update is a perfect compromise to the situation.

What you can expect out of Monday Morning Minors (the name was all Blez, I SWEAR), is an account of the past week's happenings throughout the farm. Who's pitched well, who's hit well, who's been well hit, and who's... well... hitless. Hopefully MMM will also help keep you informed when a key player gets injured, gets sent up or sent down, or is signed or released. I understand that the more than 200 players in the system can be overwhelming, especially for those who haven't much (if any) exposure to them. The community would be best served if MMM were to focus on the players most likely to make an impact with the major league club, so don't expect an overload.

I'd also like for AN readers to understand that because I will be mostly reporting to you the results of the season, the opportunity for other community members to submit their analysis, thoughts, ranking of players, etc will certainly still be present. I have absolutely no intention of passing myself as the final and ultimate authority on this subject, as that would be both disingenuous and false. I've been a reader and a fan of AN since its early days, and what I believe has made it great is the sense of community. In no way do I wish to change that, but instead I wish to further stimulate conversation by helping to educate those of you who don't and otherwise wouldn't follow the farm system.

I also hope that if there are some of you who simply aren't interested in this subject, you will reconsider.

It's really no secret that youth has been at the heart of Oakland's strategy. Whether it's Huston Street jumping in to the closer role or Andre Ethier being shipped out for Milton Bradley, youth is at the center of it all. In fact, among those on the 40-man roster, 34 of the players can be traced back to either an A's draftee or undrafted free agent signee, and 2 others have spent significant time in the farm system (of the remaining four, three are new this season; bonus points for guessing who the odd man out is). Sacramento, Midland, Stockton and Kane County represent the future of the green and gold not only in the next few years, but they also hold the keys to our long-term future.

That said, I can't wait for the season to start. There's only so much speculation a person can tolerate.