2015FrontCoverThe 2015 Prospect Guide is now available for pre-sales, and will be released in mid-December. This is the fifth year that we’ve published the Prospect Guide, and during that five-year span, the book has undergone some changes. The core focus of the book is still the same — to provide profiles and reports on every prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system. This year’s book will feature reports from all of our minor league writers, along with future projections for every player in the system.

You can now pre-order the 2015 Prospect Guide, which is expected to be completed right after the 2015 Winter Meetings, and is expected to ship in mid-December. I can’t guarantee a Christmas delivery this year, since this is the first year I will be shipping the book from Florida, which adds about two more days to the shipping process (one more day to get the books from the publisher, and one more day to get it up to Pennsylvania, which is where over half the orders come from).

Last year we had a huge rush of orders in the final week before the book was released. Everyone who pre-ordered the book had their order sent out in the first shipment, which arrived around December 23rd-27th, depending on where you lived. Some people who ordered at the end of the final week, or who ordered when the book was released, received their book in the second shipment, which was in early January. The only way to guarantee that you get your book in the first shipment this year is to order it during the pre-sale period. To pre-order the book, head over to the products page and place your order.

The Cover

Two years ago we started a new process of putting the Player or Pitcher of the Year on the cover. Last year’s cover was Tyler Glasnow, who was our Pitcher of the Year in 2013. Glasnow won the same award again in 2014, although we decided to change things up and go with the Player of the Year this time around. That ended up being Josh Bell, who is featured on the cover of the book this year.

Features in 2015

Last year we did a complete overhaul of the ranking system in the book. Everyone submitted grades on every player in the system, using the 2-8 scouting scale. This included all of our local writers who covered just one team, as well as regional writers who saw multiple teams. Those rankings will be combined to give an overall future potential for each player. We will be projecting the likely upside for each player, using the following scale.

8 Elite Talent
7 All Star
6 Above-Average Starter / Strong #3 Innings Eater / Impact Closer
5 Average Major Leaguer / #3-5 SP / Closer Candidate
4 Impactful Bench Player / Spot Starter / Strong Middle Reliever
3 Up & Down Player
2 Minor Leaguer

Everyone involved will also be submitting floor and ceiling rankings, to get an idea of the risk involved with each player. This is very similar to the process that Baseball America added a few years ago. I like that, because it shows how close players really are in talent. In some cases you could have a guy outside the top 50 who is ranked just as good as someone in the top 50. In other cases you could see how there’s not much difference between prospect number 15 and prospect number 25. Since this is the second year we have taken this approach, you will be able to look back at last year’s version and compare the quality of prospects in the system between the two years.

Digital Version

Once again, there will be a digital version of the Prospect Guide, although that will not be available for pre-sales, and will come out shortly after the Prospect Guide is released.  The digital version will be an e-book that can be accessed on any e-reader, including iPads, Kindles, and Smartphones.

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