I almost shut this site down quietly at the end of 2021.
My reason at the time for keeping it running came with the realization that in the entire time I ran this site, I never ran it how I wanted to run things.
It can be easy to get stuck in a trap of doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing — even in situations where there is no other example to set a guide for what you should be doing. In a way, I think that’s where every young prospect goes wrong in their jump to the majors.
There’s no other Pirates Prospects.
There are a million other people named Tim Williams, but there’s no one with my vision for what this site will become. Other people could have a different vision if they were in charge. I am the one steering the ship, and I’m trying a new thing where I actually steer it — rather than the ship steering me.
Last year, my focus was to establish a production schedule for the site. That was an extremely busy process, which led to Pirates Prospects Daily, Weekly, and the upcoming Prospect Guide. All three are new approaches for the site, with the new book being revealed soon.
This year, my focus is going to be heavy on Editing. I’ll be creating the framework for a future Editor job on this site, separate from my role as Producer. By the end of the year, I hope to have the site in position to hire an Editor, ideally located in Pittsburgh.
Until then, I’m still pulling double and triple roles on the site — depending on how much writing I do.
I’ve been planning out my approach for the site this year — my 15th season covering this organization with this site — and how I’ll manage these roles while maintaining consistency on the site.
I would really like to move to Pittsburgh and be the Editor for this site — though that would involve finding ways to outsource some of my Producer duties. The reality is that I’ve got too much to do on the Producer and Editor side this year to plan for any extreme amounts of writing.
My plan this year is to remain in Florida, focus my attention on building the site up, and provide some coverage from down here when I can. My aim is to either be the Producer/Editor of this site in Pittsburgh in 2024, or to hire a separate person as the Editor in Pittsburgh.
The biggest plan for me is to get healthy.
I turn 40 this year, and I’ve largely been doing a job and a workload that was designed by my 25-year-old self. That approach led to serious burnout, which has taken years to recover from. It also left me a little hesitant to return to the grind until I’m sure my entire life is in order and my body is healthy.
What I’ve realized is that if this site runs off of me, then I need to be in the best possible health to allow for the best possible site.
On that note, I’ve been busy over the last week getting some dental work done that I put off for too many months. I’m currently dealing with a sinus infection from the delay. So, I’m consolidating most of the weekly schedule this week with an article drop, and getting some rest. Check below for this week’s articles.
Next week in this spot, I’ll have specifics on what is coming to Pirates Prospects in 2023. Don’t forget to weigh in on what you want to see.
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
Ethan Hullihen is working on a new feature to create a Glossary of transaction details on the site. His first installment is a look at how Optional and Outright Assignments work.
Pirates Business: How Do Optional and Outright Assignments Work?
Wilbur Miller looked at the Pirates’ 2019 draft, which is led by Quinn Priester, but has a lot of other interesting prospects still around.
WTM: The Pirates’ Quirky 2019 Draft
Bubba Chandler was a highlight of the 2021 draft, and Anthony Murphy looked at the progress and potential he showed during his debut season.
Bubba Chandler Showed Progress and Potential In His Debut Season
SUPPORT OUR WORK
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The site still needs user support to grow, even with the advertisements. In the past, we’ve received at least $80,000 in user support each year, via subscriptions. In most years, the support has been well over six-figures. My budget this year is going very conservative, planning for less than the previous low total, now that the site has removed the paywall.
The site is very fortunate that it will exceed the previous low-end of user support just with advertisements. Any donations we receive go to increase the pay our writers and the continued growth of the site.
We appreciate anyone who chooses to help out the site and support our work. You can Contribute to our work if you enjoy the site and wish to help us grow.
FUQUAY VINYL PLAYLIST
I throw a playlist together each week and use it for inspiration on writing projects outside of baseball. There’s never really an order to this, just different vibes. This week is heavy on hip hop, as I’ve mostly been listening to the new album by Open Mike Eagle, and got the debut album from Inspectah Deck from my vinyl record club.
WEEKLY PIRATES QUIZ
There are a few players on the current roster who are answers below.
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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Hey Tim. Didn’t realize you were back in Florida. Been a reader since 2009 but got away from it the last few years. Best of luck man!
Best wishes in rest and recovery! Make sure you take care of yourself!
Thanks for hanging in there! As a retired guy, this site is part of my morning routine! I have been with you for years and will continue to be with you as long as you and your team are up and running. Your team is a talented group of folks.
Somehow, find time to be as healthy as you can. I have become sold on yoga in the last year and a half!
From someone whose is failing, let me emphasize, in no uncertain terms:
Health. Is. Everything.
Say it ain’t so! Rest up buddy.
I hope that yours improves. Take care man!
Take care of yourself, brother!
Get well, Tim. It ain’t easy running a business!
Aiy aiy Captain Tim! Since we’re talking in boat terms, you should know that modern boats have an Auto Pilot feature that auto steers the boat for the Captain once he sets his direction. I’m turning 40 too this year, & have noticed the effects of that as well, if there’s any way you can automate your processes & free up your time, do it.
That’s a huge thing I’ve been looking into this year. Optimizing my complete schedule and automating as much as possible.
Tim if you ever need assistance laying out the book in the future, I’d happily offer my help. I’ve been doing indesign layout’s for print pieces for about a decade. The P2 Prospect Guide would be right in my wheelhouse.
Also, happy to hear you didn’t pull the trigger on killing the site!
Glad you kept going. Hitting 40 for me meant glasses and gray hair would become the norm. I pray you will find the right balance for work and such as well as that health you desire.
Thanks! Last year felt really good in terms of producing the type of content I wanted to produce. My fear going in was I couldn’t write enough content for an entire year. My regret at the end was there were stories I didn’t have time or energy to cover.
It was a lot of fun to produce the site last year. This year I’m going to try it with a healthy life routine, to try and find that balance you speak of.