Around the mid-point of the 2016 season, we were looking to increase our MLB coverage. The Pirates were getting set to promote a lot of top prospects, including guys like Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell, who we had covered extensively from their first days in pro ball, all the way up to the majors. We didn’t want to just end the coverage of those players when they reached Pittsburgh. So I hired Alan Saunders to provide coverage from PNC Park.

Alan has been a fantastic addition to the site, with some great reporting and insight from inside the clubhouse. He also might be the hardest working guy in the Pittsburgh media landscape, covering about every sport and contributing to several outlets. Yesterday, as I was about to leave Pirate City, I saw that Alan was part of budget cuts at the Beaver County Times, which is the outlet he was writing for when we added him. After getting home, the first thing I did was to get on the phone with Alan and discuss expanding his role with Pirates Prospects, along with an increase in pay to make up for the loss in earnings from the BCT.

I’m happy to say that, starting in August, you will be seeing a lot more coverage from Alan on the MLB team. I’m also happy to be in a position to help out such a great and hard-working writer, which is entirely due to our subscription model that has allowed us to increase our coverage over the last few years.

After discussing the basics with Alan, we got to discussing a few ideas for the future, and we’ve got some exciting stuff planned. Part of that involves some changes to the game coverage each night, looking for a way to fill you in on what is happening each night, without doing a typical, and out-dated model of game recaps that you’ve seen for decades. The other topic was about how we can take advantage of the site’s unique position in the Pittsburgh market.

We are the only outlet that has reporters in every minor league city, along with a reporter in Pittsburgh. We collaborate with each other behind the scenes, but we don’t do it nearly enough in articles. Going forward, we’re going to be doing that a lot more often, getting group features from Alan in Pittsburgh, Brian Peloza in Indianapolis, Sean McCool in Altoona, and myself in Bradenton. The first idea is already on the table, and will be a three-part series that we’re aiming to have done around the middle of August, with the topic spanning all levels of the system, but specifically focusing on certain players in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Altoona. I can’t say more than that, but this will be a very interesting topic, and we’ll be covering it like no one else can.

I’m excited by the upcoming changes, and very fortunate that we’ll be getting a lot more content from Alan, while also thankful that I was in a position to help him out right away. You guys made that happen with the subscriptions to the site. And if you’re one of the people who hasn’t subscribed, then now is definitely the time to sign up, as we’ve got a lot planned for the final months of the season.

New Positions Open in West Virginia

While I’m happy to have Alan in an increased role, I also regret to report that Abigail Miskowiec will no longer be writing for the site. Abbey was our writer for the West Virginia Power, but recently moved away from Charleston, obviously making it impossible to cover the team. This is unfortunate, as Abbey — an English teacher with plenty of sports writing and editing experience — was easily the best writer on the site, and had some great coverage the last two years of the Low-A team.

The West Virginia team in 2018 will be loaded with high upside prospects, likely featuring many of the prep pitchers from the 2016 draft class, along with a lot of the prep hitters from the 2017 draft class. It might also include 2017 first round pick Shane Baz. Add in some promising international hitting talent, and this team is an absolute must to cover. Of course, we cover West Virginia no matter what, so we were going to look for a new writer.

I’m looking for someone who can provide live coverage from Charleston. I’m also looking for someone who can provide coverage for Morgantown. The job requirements are in the section below.

As for Abbey, I want to take a moment to thank her for the great work over the last two seasons, and wish her the best of luck in her new job and in her new city. I’m also hoping that one day we can get her back for a guest article, since she will be in a location to cover some Indianapolis road games, and could be able to follow up on some players she covered in the lower levels, once they’ve reached the top level of the minors.

APPLY FOR A POSITION

To apply for any position, send an e-mail to tim@piratesprospects.com with the following information:

-What position(s) you are applying for.

-Why would you be a good addition to the site? I get a lot of requests to write for the site, so what could you provide that would separate you from other writers?

-What is your availability for game coverage?

-What is your previous experience (include links to published content)?

For any writing position the following will be very important:

-Great work ethic and independent workers

-Strong grammar/spelling

-Good statistical knowledge, including an understanding of advanced statistics

-The ability to come up with original and interesting topics

-Leaving emotional biases out of the work

-Twitter and social networking experience

-Being a Pirates fan is not a requirement

The site is run on WordPress, so any knowledge of that is a plus.