I’ve got a few personal notes for today’s site updates, along with an update on when the full 2019 Prospect Guide will be released.
First up, I have joined Baseball America as their correspondent covering the Pirates. I’ll be writing the monthly Pirates farm report, with my first article going up this week on Ke’Bryan Hayes. I’ll also be contributing player features throughout the year, and helping with the Prospect Handbook at the end of the year.
This doesn’t change anything for the site as far as content or the amount of player coverage. I’ll actually be looking for ways to join the coverage together. For example, I’ll be writing an article on Ke’Bryan Hayes later this week on the site after my article goes up at BA. The article on Pirates Prospects will be a different article, focused more on analysis rather than a strict reporting approach that I took with the BA article. It will probably be easier to show this with the results once both articles are out.
I’m really excited by this opportunity, and hope you follow my articles at both places.
Pirates Prospects HQ is Moving
Unrelated to Baseball America’s headquarters in Durham, NC, I’ll be moving to Raleigh this year. In the last week my fiancee applied for and got a new teaching position in the Raleigh area, thus leaving Florida and the horrible teacher pay down here.
The area works great for covering the Pirates. Aside from the Low-A team being in Greensboro — where I expect to make frequent trips this year — there are also opportunities to see the other farm teams.
Indianapolis goes to Durham, Charlotte, and Norfolk, with the latter two being less than three hours away.
Altoona goes to Richmond, and will be there a few times this season, which is less than three hours away.
Bristol goes to a few places in southeast Virginia, making it easier to see some of the young pitchers that go to that level each year (this year’s group will include Braxton Ashcraft and Michael Burrows).
I’ll be moving up there in mid-April, and my schedule for early season coverage is already looking good:
April 4-11: Bradenton Marauders and Extended Spring Training Coverage
April 26-28: Indianapolis coverage
April 30-May 6: Altoona and Greensboro coverage
The only challenge is Bradenton coverage, but at worst, it would be easy for me to make a trip down from Raleigh (I’m not going to refuse to return to an area that has some of the best craft beer in the country). I’m also going to be looking into trying to get replacement coverage down here before I leave.
When I moved to Bradenton in 2013, I was actually considering a move to Raleigh instead, due to the close proximity to a lot of teams in the system (also due to my best friends living in the area, and it being a great area). The team availability got better with the additions of Bristol and Greensboro in the years since then.
A big challenge with baseball coverage is the cost, especially when covering so many teams in the minor league system. By living in close proximity to where these teams play, I’ll be able to cut out a ton of travel costs, compared to traveling from Bradenton to cover those teams.
One of my favorite things about the move is being so close to the Low-A team, since that’s where most of the breakout prospects usually appear in the Pirates’ system.
For now, I’ve got two months left in Florida, giving me time to cover Spring Training, the start of Bradenton’s season, and time to load up on Angry Chair beer before I leave.
2019 Prospect Guide Release Date
The full version of the 2019 Prospect Guide will be released later this month. We’re waiting until a few weeks after big league camp starts, and waiting until closer to minor league camp to release the final version, so that we get as much information in there as possible.
Aside from getting extra information from some of the top prospects in camp, and any missing photos, we’re leaving some extra time in the event that the Pirates make additional moves (similar to last year when they traded Tristan Gray a few weeks after camp started).
You can purchase the 2019 Prospect Guide for only $17.99 when using the code “10YEARGUIDE”. The eBook currently has our initial top 50 prospect list for the 2019 season, plus other resources and rankings to prepare you for the system.