Site Updates

Site Updates: “Do Other Teams Have a Site Like Yours?”

Site Updates: “Do Other Teams Have a Site Like Yours?”

One of the questions I get all of the time in regards to this site is “Are there any other teams that have a site like yours?” Actually, that’s usually a question that follows “What exactly do you do?” and “So do you work for the Pirates?” and “How does that work on your own?” and “Is this all that you do then?” and “How did you get into that?” and maybe a few other questions. But eventually it gets to “Are there any other teams that have a site like yours?”

The answer is no.

There are sites that cover prospects for other teams. There might be 4-5 that do this as a job. But there are none that do this as a job and have the constant live coverage of every level that we do.

I hear from scouts all the time that our site is the best team site out there for keeping track of every player. This often follows me introducing myself, and them knowing about the site before they even know who I am. I hear from national writers that if they’re looking for specific info on a player, they always know to check us first.

The downside to this is that this is something which can’t be seen by Pirates fans. Unless you’re hardcore into following prospects, and you try to get information from other teams, you’re not going to see the same thing that scouts and national writers see. So a lot of what we do has just come to be expected in the Pittsburgh area as normal coverage, and something that every team has.

There’s a recent example of how this isn’t standard with other teams. A week ago, Reese McGuire was placed on the disabled list for Toronto’s Double-A team. Two weeks ago, Harold Ramirez was placed on the same disabled list. I’ve seen that Pirates fans have noticed this, and I’ve even seen that some Pirates fans have wondered what the injury was.

I’ve been checking on that myself, to see if the information is out there. I checked a few Blue Jays prospect sites (the Jays Prospects site has one article per week), a few newspapers that cover the Blue Jays (some of them don’t even have that the players are injured), and anywhere else I can think of. I haven’t been able to find anything at all.

This is something that wouldn’t happen if the players were in the Pirates’ system. If those two were still in Altoona, we’d have Sean McCool there getting updates. If the players were on the road, we’d be in contact with people in the organization to get those updates. If they were rehabbing in Bradenton, we’d eventually have full details of the rehab, after getting the basic info first. And Altoona specifically has good media coverage aside from us, from Cory Giger and the Altoona Mirror, but that isn’t the case with every level. And in every other level we’ve got that coverage.

We go to the extreme with some of that news. We provided updates on 2016 draft picks Blake Cederlind and Brent Gibbs, and the large majority of Pirates fans don’t even realize those two are Pirates prospects yet. We had updates this year on why GCL shortstop Melvin Jimenez was out for a few games. Even hardcore readers of this site probably don’t know who he is.

I bring all of this up as part of a shameless plug for the site’s coverage, but also because when I hear from scouts and national writers, I always think “I wish there was a way Pirates fans could see this.” And with the McGuire/Ramirez trade being so high-profile, and with both of them facing unknown injuries shortly after the deal, I couldn’t think of a better time or example to show the difference of coverage between what we provide for the Pirates, and what is provided for other teams.

Live Coverage Updates

I just wrapped up two weeks of live coverage of the lower levels, with a series each in West Virginia, Morgantown, and Bristol. I’ve had a lot of features already from this coverage, and will have a lot more in the next few weeks. I currently have 12 features remaining from the trip, after posting over a dozen updates already.

I took a few days off to stop in Raleigh to visit some friends on the way home. My best friends just had twins, which is their second set of twins in a year. They now have two one year olds and two newborns. So I wrapped up my Bristol coverage on Tuesday, then went into Uncle Tim mode on Wednesday.

I’m heading home today, and resuming my live coverage in Bradenton tomorrow in the GCL. I’m hoping that the schedule will hold up, giving me a chance to see Blake Taylor, Hector Garcia, Braeden Ogle, and Austin Shields on Saturday and Monday. I’ll also be getting a look at new arrivals Jeremias Portorreal and Gabriel Brito, who I haven’t seen since last year in the DSL. So I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ve progressed in that time.

Next week the Marauders will return home, and I’ll be getting end of the year features on guys like Connor Joe, Kevin Kramer, and other hitters and pitchers who I haven’t updated lately. Right now, looking at our tentative schedule, we’ve got articles lined up through the end of September, and that doesn’t even include all of the articles from every writer we have.

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FEEDBACK

If you have any feedback, whether it’s a problem with your account, an issue with the site, or any other questions or comments, you can e-mail me at tim@piratesprospects.com.

  • Rich

    Tim,
    I wonder if the reason for this unique coverage of the Bucs is somewhat due to the 20 year streak of losing. As the major league team faded, there was always talk, from fans, media and the organization, about the next wave prospects who could turn things around. Thus, attention would turn to the minors and the progress top picks were making and if they’d be the ones to turn the team around, creating the demand for greater coverage of the minors for the Bucs than with other teams.

    • jedeweese

      After being (apparently) the only Pirates fan in Knoxville for 20 years, I craved every bit of potential news I could find. I found Tim early.

      • scrappy2499

        Born in Penn Hills there through my early years, Moved to Elon, NC in 86′. I found Tim early as well :) since I was always looking for info. on Pirates, Steelers, Penguins.

        • jedeweese

          I’m from Altoona, PA but been dowbn here since 81 except 4 years.

    • nate h

      Its the reason I started reading the site. I started right around the Jameson Taillon draft trying to get the most info because I wanted the bucs to build into a contender. Luckily they have and I couldn’t be happier.

    • I can definitely see that! As opposed to watching Jacob Brumfield, Jose Hernandez, Ty Wigginton, Andy LaRoche etc…….

      • deacs

        Andy LaRoche. The mention of that name nearly ruined my day. It just takes me back to 2008 and the whole wanting to believe “we may have acquired a cornerstone piece! We’re building to something!” We weren’t. I’m a big NH guy but you could almost argue he set the Pirates back even further after the Nady and Bay trades and built up from even a worse hand than he was dealt.

        • piraddict

          NH’s rookie year certainly wasn’t the best.

  • Cecil.

    I’d be keeping an eye on those friends for signs of a nervous breakdown.
    You should convince the Bucs to include a trial subscription to the site with the purchase of a season ticket. I’d bet the renewal rate would be high.

    • deacs

      Second set of twins in a year. I nearly blacked out after I read that sentence. My other thought which completely detracts from how the good the coverage is, is that the Bucs traded damaged goods to the Blue Jays.

      • John Dreker

        Ramirez hurt his knee while making a sliding catch in his first game. Can’t find what happened to McGuire, but it happened two weeks after he got there

        • deacs

          I’m sure they were pre-existing conditions John. Open your eyes. NH got away with one. This is a scandal waiting to happen.

          • terrygordon30

            And Ramirez is really 31 years old, and McGuire had two secret knee replacement during the off season. He has also had 7 concussions, and brain replacement surgery is seriously being considered.

        • Daniel F

          Ha, Ramirez was being a hoser

    • Scott K

      On the surface, that idea has some appeal. Wonder what % of season ticket holders are subscribers? I would imagine season tix not purchased by companies, the subscription rate would be pretty high since they’re hard core fans.

  • domdidominic

    You have a very cool job, however an extreme job. I am sure scouts, player personnel and all the way up to front offices read the site and hold you in high regard for your insight.
    Then, for folks outside the baseball circle, you probably get a lot of blank stairs.
    I used to umpire in NY-Penn, FSL and ESL. You go from, ‘Wow, can I have your autograph’ to ‘So, what do you do during the day?’

  • deacs

    Tim, who are the other teams with the 4 or 5 sites that cover prospects albeit not as well?

  • TNBucs

    Have you copyrighted the format and/or thought about buying rights to, say, http://www.redsprospects.com, http://www.brewersprospects.com, etc.? Perhaps you could then franchise out sites for other teams, providing the startup expertise and then letting them take things over with you getting a slice of their revenue pie.

    Seems every team’s fans should have what we have.

    • Tim Williams, media empire builder. Do this YESTERDAY!!!

    • dr dng

      Sounds like somebody watches a lot of Shark Tank!

    • Daniel F

      I was just thinking about this the other day. It seems like Tim makes just enough money to get by on the site. I wonder if other teams would bring in more subscribers?

    • John Allen Habel III

      Totally agree and have the guys do article on the teams that come through and play our minor league teams until you build up. Or do it by each minor league league.

  • RonHeb72

    Great site great job. I think one of the things that is maybe not completely unique but definitely not common with the Pirates is the fan base. Everyone says small market I agree but disagree. The “Pittsburgh” fan base is huge. Steelers fans are everywhere.

    I lived in Charlotte, NC and there were just as many restaurants with Steelers fan clubs as there were Panthers (I am sure that is changing with the Panthers success) but there were more then any other teams in the NFL. Steelers fans travel well has been a constant statement you hear. Penguins fans are also around in lots of places outside of Pittsburgh as well (not to the same extent but Hockey is also not as popular).

    My point is there are Pittsburgh fans throughout the country perhaps even more so then any other city “perhaps”. A reason for all of this may be attributed to the area. There are a lot of people from Pittsburgh that have spread out throughout the country and the fan base is very loyal. I will say during the 20 years of losing seasons if you lived outside of Pittsburgh you may have found yourself pulling for other teams but at heart you were still a fan.

    My final point is this. While the city of Pittsburgh itself may not be the same market as say Philly, New York, Boston, Chicago, and LA. But the fan base stretches outside of Pittsburgh more then a lot of your teams such as Tampa, Kansas City, Cleveland and other Small market teams.

    Yes Yankees fans are everywhere but that was in large part due to their success and they were known. But even those large Markets of New York, LA, and Chicago have more then one team to support. They can do it with no problem. But also with New York remember they were the home of the Dodgers, and Giants too. Those teams that moved left behind fan bases and gained new fan bases. Some they left behind moved on. But living in Central PA for example I still know a number of Colts fans that actually were fans when they were the Baltimore Colts that’s why.

    I get frustrated at times when I hear the Pirates are small market. Truth is I think we are finding their market may be a lot bigger then when we think as that fan base from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s regains interests and comes home. And they are passing that tradition on to their kids. I will be the first to admit, my allegiance came from my father. I have a picture of me as a baby with a Terry Bradshaw football (bigger then me I might add) laying next to me. With technology and sites like this its easier to be a Pirates fan in Arizona, or Georgia then it ever was before. So how big the Pirates market is….. might be a lot bigger then many think.
    Keep up the work Pirates Prospects Team.

    • jedeweese

      Unless you live in Knoxville, TN. Man, do I hate The Chop.

    • Edward C

      I agree that they may not be small market in fans. A lot of this is due to the rust belt contraction of jobs in the past. There was migration from the Pittsburg area to the south either by workers or their kids upon graduation from high school or college. Unfortunately having fans in North Carolina, Tennessee or even the west coast doesn’t translate into significant increased ticket sales at PNC. I believe that merchandise sales also don’t come back to the club but go into the MLB pool. Thus for dollars received they can still be a small market team even though the fans have an impressive presence at a lot of road games and even out cheer the home teams at times. I assume a lot of this is transplanted yinzers rather than fans traveling with the team.

  • Yeh, Yeh, but what I REALLY wanna know is what happened to Trey Supak (beyond the stats)?

    :)

    • deacs

      I actually check out his stats now and again. And Blake Taylor if I’m bored. Outside of your boy who is now a Red I don’t think any prospect we’ve traded has really come up and made a meaningful contribution to the team he was traded to. I’m not counting Holt who may have been technically eligible.

      • I wonder how Dilson will do with Cincy.

        I hope he has a GREAT career, just not against us. :)

        Btw, I foogot about Blake Taylor. Thx for that ‘nostaligia’. :)

        • Blake Taylor had TJ surgery late last year.

          I guess our TJ woes follow pitchers around no matter where they go?

        • deacs

          They need to find a home for Brandon Phillips otherwise Herrera won’t start until 2018.

          • piraddict

            An Old Folks Home?

  • Btw, has anyone noticed that, as the Pirate Prospects empire grew, so too did the quality of our prospects?

    They couldn’t hide behind the occasional BA article/book any more. They HAD to get good!

    Now THAT is pressure!!!

    :)

    • John Dreker

      The strength of systems usually goes in cycles. I know there are some players who didn’t make our top 50, who have the feel of a top 50 prospect. I couldn’t imagine doing this for some of the weaker farm systems. I think I figured out at the beginning of the year that teams like the Angels and Tigers had 3-5 players who would make a combined top 20 between their system and the Pirates. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like when you get in the 31-50 range for those teams. I know when we do our top ten by each club at the end of the season, there are guys on the weaker teams who it feels wrong to call them a top ten prospect.

      I think it was Bristol in 2014, where we seriously thought about just saying top five because the list was so weak…now imagine covering an entire farm system where the 4th best prospect wouldn’t rank top 20 for other teams.

      • Back in ‘the day’ ( pre-NH), BA, I bet, had trouble coming up with 30 prospects.

        Here’s what we had in ’07

        Cutch
        Walker
        Lincoln
        (Here’s where it gets bad)
        Brent Lillibridge
        Yolanda Hererra
        Josh Sharpless
        Steve Pearce
        Brian Bixler
        Todd Redmond
        Brad Corley

        Of the rest:
        Rajai Davis was 27th and Hughes 29th

        Nobody else is fit to be mentioned.

        • deacs

          Lincoln was 6 foot. I’m not sure I can name a Pirates RH Starting Prospect under 6’3″ that was drafted since 2008. Everyone is at least 6’4″ except for Keller who is the runt of the litter at 6’3″ I think. Unless I’m missing something I think Cole, Taillon, Holmes, Kingham, Glasnow, Hinsz are all 4 inches taller than Lincoln. Wait……..I just checked. Allie was 6’2″.

        • John Dreker

          I’d have to go back and look at the players from that particular year. I saw most of them play because I saw a bunch of games from AA, High-A and Low-A that season. I know James Boone was there and he was really interesting. Gifted athlete, just could not stay healthy for any stretch of time. Jason Delaney should have made the majors at some point (meaning 2008-09 Pirates, not a legit team). His defense was bad, but he just roped line drives all over field. I saw him play at least 30 games over his time and he was always impressive at the plate. Shelby Ford was around, and he went from a decent prospect to nothing overnight. Steve Lerud was a decent prospect as well, made the majors for a short time. I liked Jamie Romak, thought they gave up on him too soon. He was cut at age 23, made the majors a few years later for parts of two seasons.

        • piraddict

          The Bucs screwed up on Steve Pearce.

        • loehr22

          Steve Pearce is a late bloomer

      • deacs

        Oh wow. I went back and looked at that roster. That’s thin. Who was on there? I’ve got Roth, Reyes, Buckner, Sandfort……….Jake Burnette?

        • John Dreker

          Burnette was just rehab. Sever was interesting, and still would have been this year if he didn’t just retire out of the blue. That’s basically it. Maybe Paula because he could hit 94 in college and had a fresh arm, but that ended up meaning nothing because he’s been hurt twice since then.

          • deacs

            I saw Meadows on there too, did the math and realized he was in WV that year and probably on rehab for a couple games.

    • Biagio

      Yes Smoochie!

  • Edward C

    Oh wow 2 sets of twins in a year. That sounds like a long trip through Hades (or Miller Park). Hopefully Uncle Tim can take over for a little while to help prevent parental collapse.
    We are spoiled by the excellent coverage provided by Tim, John and company. Thanks for all you do.

    • deacs

      I almost couldn’t believe that when I read it. I think Tim wanted to see what it was like to be around someone who sleeps less than he does.

  • nate h

    Tim, have loved the coverage since 2010/2011. You guys do a great job and I am a happy member. Keep up the hard work as I don’t think my membership will lapse many times in the upcoming years.

  • Someone asked below about how many season ticket holders are subscribers. You guys should do some kind of member survey. It would be fun to see who reads the site? How many of us are season ticket holders? How many of us are ex-pats like me? Could even help your marketing?

  • Biagio

    Yes PP we are Bucco fans and we are a few IQ levels above your average Yinzer!

  • Jason F

    I think it is well known that the pirate’s system and their prospects were so popular for so long, was becaus the major league team had nothing worthwhile to watch. Tim Williams was there to cover the rebirth of the pirates, from he Pedro Alvarez draft through the present. It’s pretty impressive what this site has become. Tim, John, Wilbur, and the rest made the best of a 20-yr catastrophe. Thank you. And yes, as with any applied fan, we surely take it for granted-so please don’t take it away to make us realize how grateful we should be!

  • John K

    I’m glad you started this site, Tim. It’s a lot of fun.

  • piraddict

    We Bucco fans are blessed with this site!

  • loehr22

    Easy answer, hell no

  • Matthew P

    Tim,
    Regardless of whether or not other teams have similar sites is irrelevant. Your work stands on its own. The site is tremendous. I enjoy it daily.

  • st1300b

    Tim,
    Thank goodness you’re on the Pirates coverage as it’s exactly what we want! This could be a national franchising opportunity though!!

Site Updates

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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