For the first time in about three years, Pirates Prospects has a new design. The design has some similarities to what we’ve had in the past, but offers a much cleaner look, as well as some improved functions. But the big thing is that the new design is going to allow for increased coverage this year, while making it easier for you to keep up.
The focus at the top of the site is still the same. We’ll have our five biggest recent features at the top of the site, with the most recent article first. The problem we run into is that this section can quickly get out-dated.
Once the minor league season begins, we will have at least six articles per day, not counting news. That’s not new. We typically can have up to ten articles on the site per day at points during the season. And as you can expect, that leads to articles getting buried quickly.
The main goal of the new design is to give articles a longer shelf life, and that will be accomplished in the sections on the home page.
Right below the featured section is a section for columns. We will have three set columns per week — one from myself, Matt Gajtka, and Alan Saunders. That section holds three articles, which means each column will be featured on the homepage for a week. In the past, a column might have been gone from the homepage in less than 24 hours, depending on how busy the news day was.
The biggest thing about the new design are the sections for the Pirates, prospects, and amateur news, as shown below.
Matt and Alan will have a daily feature on the big league squad throughout the season. We’ll also have any news, rumors, transactions, and injuries covered. The Pirates section will contain all of those, giving a longer homepage run time to the five most recent articles from each section.
The prospect section will be the same, with an upcoming change. When the season begins, we will order the coverage by team, with a section for each team in the system. That way you can get the latest updates from each team, and stay up to date on all of the features we have throughout the week from each level.
The amateur section will keep track of all of the draft and international news, while giving the weekly features on those topics a longer run time.
The longer run time on the home page is the key thing here. In the past, all articles would be gone from the home page in a day. They would be buried a few pages deep in the archives after two or three days. The new design allows us to continue providing a ton of information, and allows you to easily catch up in the event that you want to take a day off from the site, for whatever reason you would want to do that.
The new design also comes with an improved search function, which provides a few results without even submitting the search, and which has much more relevant returns, based on the tests we’ve done so far.
We are gearing up for a big season of coverage throughout the system, and this new design will only make it easier to find all of our great content.
If you aren’t a subscriber, you can join us here.
BRINGING BACK A FAMILIAR FACE
I’m please to announce that Tom Bragg will be rejoining Pirates Prospects to cover the West Virginia Power this year. Tom previously wrote for us in 2012 and 2013, covering West Virginia and splitting our MLB coverage during that time. Tom left the site for a job in Charleston, where he is currently the sports web editor of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Tom is now able to freelance aside from his job there, which made him available to join us again. He’s got a great team to cover this year, with a lot of potential breakout prospects in West Virginia.
Tom will be starting back on the site in the second half of April, in time for the second homestand of the West Virginia season.
Please join me in welcoming Tom back to the site!
The Prospect Guide is Shipping Tomorrow
For those of you who ordered the print copy of the 2018 Prospect Guide, the book will be shipping out tomorrow. We had some delays getting the book printed this year, due to some formatting issues with the print copy. This was delayed even further due to the fact that it was difficult for me to fix those issues while providing Spring Training coverage. Also, apparently there are more people printing books at this time of year, since our normal printer has been backed up.
We made the switch to the eBook this year, but I wanted to offer the paperback version of the Prospect Guide on a limited run to those who still wanted a physical copy of the book. The number of people who prefer the physical copy of the book keeps declining year after year, and as a result, this will be the final year that we offer the paperback version.
We still have a few books available if you haven’t gotten your copy. You can place your order here.