The Pirates held their annual mini camp this week, with the voluntary workouts always coming in the second week of January. We were one of two outlets that covered the event this year, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both outlets are subscription based sites, while the free options stayed at home. It costs a lot of money to fly someone down to Bradenton, pay for a rental car for a few days, and pay for a hotel.
Granted, I live about ten minutes away from Pirate City, so covering mini camp is about as difficult as breaking out of my “Staying up until 2 AM each night working on the Prospect Guide” routine, and probably costs a few dollars in gas. That said, part of our strategy is having writers in every city, just so we get coverage of all events like this, and while we benefit from cheaper Bradenton coverage, we go through the same expenses to cover events in other cities.
I was surprised that other outlets weren’t covering the event this year. I can understand the cost cutting moves for places that also cover the Steelers and the Penguins in this town, as the Pirates coverage right now would be a clear third. And sure, you can write a Josh Bell story a month from now when Spring Training starts. And while I think Jordan Milbrath is an interesting story with insane movement on his throws, I’m sure people won’t go crazy over a story about a Rule 5 pick who could be a middle reliever.
But the alternative right now is nothing, outside of the crazy Gerrit Cole trade rumors. But in terms of original content to carry us through the next 34 days until Spring Training arrives, mini camp provides what you need. That’s especially the case when there are hardcore Pirates fans who want year-round news, and won’t settle for taking a back seat to Steelers and Penguins coverage. That’s basically why we exist, and why we cover the whole system, whether it’s the cheaper costing coverage in Bradenton, or paying the expense to go find out how the lower level prospects are developing.
After this week, I’ve got enough features to carry the site through the start of Spring Training. I’ll be rolling them out over the next few weeks, mixing them in when we don’t have other news to cover. So if you’re one of those hardcore Pirates fans who wants daily content year-round, we’ve got what you’re looking for.
Back to School Sale
A few months ago, we started a Pay It Forward program, allowing people to purchase subscriptions for students, teachers, and people in occupations that are important to society and underpaid, as a way to show appreciation for those people. We still have the Pay It Forward program, although we haven’t received any purchases over the last few weeks.
The biggest trend so far is that the student and teacher subscriptions are by far the most popular. The student subscriptions would be posted and would get claimed in less than five minutes. The teacher subscriptions didn’t take much longer. And I’d get e-mails for days afterward from students and teachers, looking to claim one of the subscriptions that were long gone.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get nearly enough student/teacher subscriptions to meet demand. That means that if you’re a student or teacher looking to get one of these subscriptions, your chances of seeing the post at the exact minute it goes up, and then claiming one of the few subscriptions, are like trying to win a lottery.
So for the month of January, we’re doing a back to school sale. We’re offering students and teachers the chance to purchase a deeply discounted subscription. You can buy one year on the site for just $19.99, which is over 40% off. With all of the upcoming coverage we have, plus the season starting up soon, this is the perfect time to get a subscription.
For students and teachers who are already subscribers, you have the chance to take advantage of this as well. You can purchase a one-year extension at this price, which will be added to the end of your current subscription. There is a limit of one year at this price per person.
Here’s how you can get your discounted subscription:
Send me an e-mail at email@example.com with verification that you are a student or a teacher (a photo of your ID card is the most common form of verification). Let me know if you are a current subscriber, or a new subscriber. Then, I will e-mail you a code that can be used to purchase your discount subscription.
We’ve never done a sale like this before, and we’ll see how it goes. I can guarantee you though, if you’re a student or a teacher, you will never see a price this low, unless you are one of the lucky few to get one of the rare Pay It Forward plans when they come up again.
The 2018 Prospect Guide
The first version of the 2018 Prospect Guide is available now in eBook form. The book includes our initial Top 50 prospects, along with other rankings and recaps of the system. You can purchase the book for just $19.99 on the products page.
This year’s book includes several updates. When/if Gerrit Cole is traded, we will release another update with where the new prospects fit into the system. We’ll also have a final update before Spring Training, which will include the full book. And if there are any other big moves, we may have additional updates. One purchase gets you the book now, plus all future updates.